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Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law Matters

My spouse cheated on me. Will I receive more marital assets because of this?
No. Cheating or any type of wrongdoing in the marriage is not a consideration when marital assets are divided in Pennsylvania. If you are also requesting alimony, then cheating or other wrongdoing can be a consideration.

I am getting divorced and have a 401(k) and a Pension Plan. Is my spouse entitled to a portion of that?
Your spouse may be entitled to a portion of your retirement accounts. A spouse may be entitled to a portion of the amount accrued during the marriage. The amount accrued during the marriage is considered a marital asset.

Will I receive 50% of our marital assets?
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will look at a number of different factors to determine which party receives which assets or pays which debts. It is not necessarily always equal, although it can be.

I would like to move out of state with my children, but the other parent won’t agree. Am I allowed to move?
In Pennsylvania, you can not make a significant move with your children unless the other parent agrees to such a move or you receive a court order allowing you to move. The court looks at numerous factors when considering a petition for relocation.

I have been separated from my spouse for over two years. I’m divorced now, right?
No! Simply being separated from your spouse for a certain amount of time does not mean you are divorced. A divorce complaint must be filed and served on your spouse to start the process.

My children want to live with me full time and want to speak with the Judge. Will the Judge speak with them?
A judge will speak with the children, however, that does not mean the judge will do what the children say they want. There is no age in Pennsylvania that a child gets to make the decision on where they will live and, although a judge will listen and take what they want into consideration, a judge still has to make a decision for what is in the best interest of the child.

I pay child support every month and have no idea what it is being used for. Am I allowed to know?
No. Pennsylvania does not require the parent receiving child support to give an accounting of what the money is used on.

I quit my job but my child support hasn’t changed. What gives?
In Pennsylvania, child support is calculated based upon a party’s current income and earning capacity. Quitting your job or voluntarily taking a cut in pay will usually not change your child support because your earning capacity will remain the same.