Family law is an area that may touch on many facets of a person's life. Attorney Rodney Shepherd is licensed in courts throughout Pennsylvania. He has been a trusted source of legal advice for many clients struggling with the emotional uncertainty of a family dispute. He has practiced in all areas of this type of law and will not steer you wrong. A free, personalized assessment of your case will be provided so that you will know your rights and how you wish to proceed. Call today for a free consultation.
There are basically two parts to a divorce:
- The first part is terminating the marriage, and it can be done in one of two ways. Both of you can sign an affidavit of consent agreeing to the entry of a divorce decree after 90 days has passed from the service of the divorce complaint, or after 1 year from the date of separation a person can move to finalize the divorce whether the other person agrees to sign or not.
- The second part is dividing up marital property or better known as equitable distribution. Whether a person has marital property generally depends on how long they have been married. This is any property that you have incurred during your marriage. It does not matter how it is titled.
This is probably one of the most emotional areas among all areas in family law. There are basically two types of custody actions:
- Physical custody. This often times can easily be settled if the kids have been in one particular setting for a period of time. If not, you may want to file a custody complaint to have the kids live with you on a regular basis.
- Partial custody/visitation. If the kids do not live with you, but you would like to see them according to a routine schedule, then this is the option for you.
Many times grandparents are put in a position where they cannot see their grandchildren, but they very much would like to. Grandparents do have a favored status in the law over other third parties seeking custody and often times can establish a regular visitation schedule with those grandchildren. However, there are certain requirements that have to be met in order to be considered to have the standing to bring such an action.
Support/Alimony Pendente Lite (APL)
There are basically two types of support:
- Child support. The person that has physical custody of the children is the parent that generally brings the support action. The amount is determined by the net income of both parties. Once those figures have been determined, then there is an established amount for the number of children.
- Spousal support. Once parties have separated, then one person may want to file for spousal support. It should be pointed out that you can still live in the same household and possibly receive spousal support. This is a monthly amount and will continue until a divorce action has been filed and the division of marital property is complete.
Protection from Abuse
This is an action that is available in a domestic dispute situation. An individual files a restraining order against you to have no further contact with them. The person bringing the action is represented by a set of attorneys on staff, however, the other person needs an attorney to represent them at the scheduled hearing. The goal is to reach some type of resolution of the matter without going to a hearing. There are times when the allegations against you are so bogus that a hearing may be the only possible option.
This is probably one of the best areas to practice in. Upon the conclusion of the process, a new member is added to the household, so it is most likely a high point in everyone's life.