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West Chester Divorce Lawyer

Divorce Lawyers in West Chester Helping Individuals through Divorce

The decision to end a relationship and seek divorce marks a crossroad in your life. If you’re like most divorcees-to-be, you’re likely battling constant feelings of anger, guilt, and shock. That’s understandable, and we greatly empathize with you during this difficult time.

At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we endeavor to provide all of our clients with the type of guidance that can help them make decisions confidently and start the next part of their lives with much-needed peace of mind. If you decide to retain us, rest assured that we won’t disappoint. Each West Chester Divorce Lawyer at our firms strives to be the best attorneys in Chester County by taking the time to learn about you and your goals so we can provide detailed advice and help you navigate your divorce action with understanding and a sense of empowerment.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our law firm is etched on the strong foundations of integrity, compassion, and level-headedness. A cold “divorce factory” is the last thing we want to be.
  • We’re an 5000 firm—a feat that reaffirms our status as one of the most prestigious and fastest-growing law firms in the whole of Pennsylvania.
  • Our local experience is second to none. We know the Chester County court system like it’s our backyard and have a warm relationship with the judges. Our attorneys can’t wait to put this knowledge and experience to work for you.
  • We’re results-driven, people-focused, and dedicated through and through. We treat every family law matter as if it’s the last one we’ll ever handle.
  • We’re deft negotiators in as much as we’re aggressive legislators, and we’ll stop at nothing to get you your deserved compensation.

To find out if we’re the perfect fit for you, contact our West Chester law offices today at (267) 710-9585 and schedule an initial consultation.

The West Chester law office is based in Chester County and serves the surrounding counties Lehigh, Northampton, Warren, Hunterdon, Mercer County, Burlington County, Philadelphia County, Montgomery County and Middlesex County.

The West Chester office is located at:

203 W. Chestnut St., Suite 204
West Chester, PA. 19380

(610) 431-4012

Nearby Cities: Philadelphia, Abington, Doylestown

Putting Our Clients’ Needs First

Sometimes, relationships just don’t work out the way you would have hoped, and that’s fine. Making the decision to get a divorce is admittedly difficult, but it may be what’s best for you and your family. Our West Chester divorce lawyers can help you start this new chapter of your life with character, confidence, and clarity of mind.

The prospect of losing the most important things in your life—your children, your property, and your peace of mind—is hard enough as it is. Having an attorney that’s just in it for the money can make things worse, subsequently dwindling your hopes of getting your rightful compensation. That’s certainly not the case with our divorce attorneys. We can help bring clarity out of your chaos, all while putting your needs first.

To us, no two family law matters are the same. Each one is invariably unique, and we’ll go out of our way to find a divorce strategy that best works for you.

Part of our client-focused approach to resolving marital disputes in West Chester, PA, involves creating a custom plan for related issues of:

But that’s not all we can do. Our team also offers award-winning representation and legal guidance on other family law issues, including:

No matter the scope or complexity of your case, trust our West Chester divorce attorneys to bring home the big prize: a decision that’ll keep you and your loved ones smiling for the rest of your lives.

The Divorce Laws in West Chester, PA: The Fine Print

Residency Requirements for Divorce

Before a petition for divorce can be filed with a local family court in Pennsylvania, it must be proven that at least one spouse is a resident of the state. More specifically, you can only file for divorce if either you or the other party has resided in the state for at least six months.

The Waiting Period

Pennsylvania law imposes a 90-day waiting period after filing to finalize the divorce agreement. In most instances, however, this period extends to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the case in question. If at all you’re dealing with a contested divorce, expect your divorce process to take even longer.

No-Fault Divorce

Pennsylvania, like most states in the country, is a “no-fault” divorce state. There are two types of no-fault divorce processes in Pennsylvania: mutual consent and separation. A mutual consent divorce is available when both parties are willing to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and consent to divorce. A separation divorce, on the other hand, occurs when the marriage is irretrievably broken and the parties have lived separate and apart for at least one year. In both types of no-fault divorce, however, the parties have to resolve or waive all of their financial issues before divorce can be granted.

Fault Divorce

If you’re wondering whether there’s such a thing as a “fault divorce” in Pennsylvania, the answer is yes. However, filing for a fault divorce is much more complicated than filing a no-fault divorce.

For your petition to be granted, the other party must have committed an act that falls under one of Pennsylvania’s six grounds for a fault divorce:

  • Bigamy
  • Adultery
  • Indignities
  • Incarceration
  • Desertion
  • Cruel and barbaric treatment

Even then, you’ll have to submit some strong evidence before the court to have any chance of earning a favorable judgement.

Issues that the Court Can Decide On

In West Chester, PA, the court has the legal authority to decide on several divorce-related issues, including:

  • The amount and duration of spousal support payments
  • Child support and child custody orders
  • Division of property, assets, and debts of each spouse

Going through the Divorce Process

To end a marriage in West Chester, PA, the divorcing spouses must follow these overarching steps:

  • Filing a divorce complaint
  • Gathering of records
  • Negotiation and hearings
  • Resolution and judgement

The divorce laws in West Chester can often be tricky and a hard grasp for the typical divorcee. If you need help navigating the whole process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the high-caliber attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC.

West Chester Divorce Lawyer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much money does divorce cost in Pennsylvania?

Divorces can be inexpensive or overly expensive, depending on a host of factors, including the willingness of both parties to work together towards an out-of-court solution. At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we always encourage settlement first.

If My Spouse Doesn’t Accept Service, What Do I Do Next?

This could require much more investigation into other ways to reach your spouse. Service outside of certified mailings may be necessary with personal service. If this is not successful, you may have to wait out the two year period as prescribed by P.a. CSA 3301(d). A divorce lawyer can estimate how long it may take. Being candid and openly sharing information with your attorney can help him or her make this assessment.

Is there Legal Separation in West Chester?

No. The state of Pennsylvania as a whole does not recognize the concept of legal separation. However, the date of separation is crucial in determining the division of your marital assets, and it is significant for establishing an agreed upon date.

Almost Everything We Own is in My Partner’s Name. If We Get Divorced, Do I Lose Everything?

No. Pennsylvania divorce law provides for equitable distribution of marital property. Marital assets, general, are those acquired from the beginning of the marriage up until the date of separation. Such items are not personal property, and the court can distribute them to either party, regardless of whose name is on it.

Should I Consider Counseling When Going Through a Divorce?

Yes. Some types of counseling may be of great help when navigating the divorce process in West Chester, including: co-parenting counseling, individual counseling, and counseling for the children.

Get High-Caliber West Chester Divorce Attorneys in Your Corner

  • 500 2019 & 2020 Honoree
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s Gold Client Champion 2017 Award
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
  • The Nation Advocates Top 100 Lawyers

Whether it’s a highly contested family law matter or a complex high net worth divorce case, our attorneys are committed to getting a superior outcome for every client. While we work hard to resolve issues short of litigation, we are also always prepared to aggressively represent you every step of the way. And that promise won’t end with you.

Clients come to Petrelli Previtera, LLC when losing is not an option. Remember, this may be your first divorce, but it isn’t ours. Let us bring clarity out of your chaos in a way only award-winning divorce attorneys can.

Got Questions? We Have the Answers You Are Looking For

At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we know that an answer is not answer unless it’s not well-thought-out and satisfactory. After all, divorce is a hugely intense action that leaves even the best of us confused and in dire need of answers. We can’t wait to give those answers to you.

Don’t start the next phase of your life on the wrong foot when you make wise choices from the get-go. Let our West Chester divorce lawyer hold your hand from here on out. We serve all of Bucks County and clients throughout Mercer, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia. Protect your family’s interests today and tomorrow—schedule an initial confidential consultation with our firm today.

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.