What are the questions we hear most in our family law office? That’s an interesting question, because there are certainly some very often asked questions by both new and long-term clients.
Here are three:
I Want to File For Custody of My Child. How Long Will It Take to Get Into Court?
Since we are during COVID-19, I can tell you that new child custody filings, meaning those Petitions, Motions and new matters, filed since early June 2020, seem to be getting scheduled fairly quickly (at least quickly in my world, which is the Family Court world). A new Child Custody Conciliation hearing is generally being scheduled in 4-6 weeks. For matters which were scheduled before March 16, 2020 and canceled, Family Court is now rescheduling those too, but it is a slower process. There are many matters to be rescheduled, so it is taking time.
I Have a School Choice Issue for the Fall. When Should I File?
The simple answer is NOW. It’ll take the 4-6 week time to get in front of a Conciliator, which means if you were to file this week, you wouldn’t complete that first stage until around the early part 2021. Then, you need to get a date in front of a Judge, for a hearing. That date could be late Spring or early Summer. Then, you need to anticipate a continuance for some reason. Hence, you need to start that process now. Generally, I suggest people start that school choice process 10-12 months before you need a decision by a Judge.
How Long Will it Take Me to Get Divorced?
This is a much more difficult answer than you might have thought. There are a number of considerations. Here are a few:
- Do you and your spouse have property to be divided? If yes, it’ll take longer than if not.
- Will your spouse cooperate in the divorce? Some prospective client’s say yes. I’ve learned to next ask: “Have you asked your spouse if he or she will cooperate?” Most folks then say “No”. I suggest they do so. Cooperation means a faster Divorce. No cooperation means a slower process.
- Do you have an address for your spouse? If no, I suggest people try to get one. With Social Media, that can be easier than you think. Perhaps your client knows of a family member they can contact, or an old business associate. Without an address, it’s a slower process.
- Have the parties been separated more than one year? If yes, it can be faster. If no, it will be slower.
For more information, read our article on How Long Does It Take to Divorce in Pennsylvania?
We are happy to answer your questions at the Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC firm. The first meeting or discussion is at no cost to you. Let us know if we can help.