What Do Divorce Lawyers Do & How They Help Your Case

Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC. – Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers

Navigating the complexities of a Pennsylvania divorce case requires professional legal representation. A Philadelphia divorce lawyer can play a crucial role in successfully guiding you through the process, and understanding what divorce lawyers do will help you better prepare for your own case.

The experienced legal team at Schwartz, Fox, and Saltzman prepared this article to provide a detailed description of the services and assistance divorce lawyers can offer.

What A Divorce Lawyer Does During a Case

Ending a marriage can be a terrifying experience. A Philadelphia divorce lawyer is there to serve as a partner, guide, and advocate during this difficult time. In addition to advising you of your legal options, a divorce attorney will work to build you a strong case while also providing essential guidance to ensure a smoother and less stressful divorce experience.

Provides Guidance During Your Divorce Proceedings

A seasoned divorce lawyer becomes your trusted ally in the challenging terrain of divorce proceedings. A divorce attorney can help you avoid common mistakes. Additionally, a family law lawyer can guard your interests and protect you from the pressure and stress of divorce.

With a deep understanding of family law, the Pennsylvania divorce attorneys at SFS can offer invaluable guidance and ensure you make informed decisions that align with your best interests. We can provide advice and guidance regarding the different types of divorce available under Pennsylvania law (§3301), such as mutual consent and contested.

Spousal Support

You do not have to face the choice of remaining married and miserable or pursuing a divorce and becoming impoverished. Under Pennsylvania law (§4321), spouses are required to support each other. This means you can seek spousal support prior to your divorce (§3103). Spousal support is calculated based on specific guidelines under the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 1910.16-4)/

If you are the financially dependent spouse, Pennsylvania Law also allows you to seek alimony after your divorce (§3701). Unlike spousal support, alimony is determined based on 17 factors as opposed to a specific formula. At SFS, our Philadelphia divorce lawyers will fight to ensure you receive the financial support you need to navigate this difficult period of your life.

Child Support & Custody

Child custody is often the most emotionally charged aspect of a divorce. Courts in Pennsylvania are required to use the best interest of the child standard when deciding custody (§5328). Several types of custody arrangements are available, including sole, joint, and shared custody (§5322)

Child support is calculated pursuant to Pennsylvania’s child support guidelines (Rule 1910.16-3). The amount of child support a parent receives or pays can also be affected by a court’s child custody award.  Our law firm will help you navigate these difficult issues while safeguarding your parental rights and the best interests of your children.

Negotiates a Fair Divorce Settlement

Not all divorce cases are resolved in court. Many cases are resolved by negotiated settlements, which allows both spouses to avoid the stress and expenses associated with litigation.

Some cases can be resolved via direct negotiations conducted by the respective attorneys. 

Another popular negotiation tool is divorce mediation, in which a neutral third party mediator guides both spouses towards mutually agreeable solutions. The family law attorneys at SFS can use their negotiation skills to resolve your case without going to court via direct negotiations or divorce mediation.

Represents You In Court

Sometimes, divorce cases cannot be resolved via negotiation and instead must proceed to trial.  One of the primary functions of a divorce lawyer is to act as your legal representative in court. This means your divorce lawyer will present and argue your case to a judge.

Skilled representation is essential as trial advocacy usually involves preparing and arguing legally complex motions. Trial representation also involves presenting evidence while challenging the other party’s case. Whether it’s presenting your case, challenging your spouse’s case, or advocating for your interests before a judge, having one of our experienced divorce lawyers by your side will ensure your voice is heard and your rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings.

Assists in Filing Your Divorce Papers

In addition to navigating complex laws, a divorce case involves correctly preparing and filing numerous documents with the appropriate court. Stated simply, these documents can be confusing and difficult to understand. A divorce lawyer takes the burden off your shoulders by guiding you through the paperwork and ensuring that all necessary documents are accurately prepared and submitted.

How a Divorce Lawyer Benefits You

Some people try to navigate a divorce without legal representation. This can be a crucial mistake as a divorce case can quickly devolve into a contentious, high-stress conflict. Some people use this stress to pressure the other spouse into making unfavorable concessions.

Engaging a divorce lawyer’s services offers many benefits that can significantly impact your case’s trajectory. An experienced attorney can advise you of your rights regarding issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, and property distribution. Additionally, a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer can advise you of the strength of your case, which can help you withstand underhanded litigation tactics. 

Understanding of the Divorce Process

Obtaining a divorce can require you to navigate numerous legal procedures and requirements. A typical divorce case involves filing a complaint for divorce followed by discovery, potential settlement discussion, and numerous court hearings. If you and your spouse elect to proceed via a mutual consent divorce, you may be able to obtain a final divorce decree within several months of filing a complaint.

If there are issues that your spouse cannot agree on, you will likely have to proceed via a contested divorce. Unlike a mutual consent divorce, a contested divorce will take longer to resolve as it will require additional litigation. The Philadelphia family law lawyers at SFS have a deep understanding of the divorce process and will work to keep you well-informed during all phases of your case.

Previous Experience in Litigating Divorces

When it comes to obtaining a successful outcome in a divorce case, experience matters! This is especially true in contested divorce cases. Litigation experience is also essential in divorce cases featuring people who own high net-worth assets.

The legal team at SFS has decades of knowledge and experience, in both simpler divorces, as well as complex, high asset divorce matters. We can use our experience and skills to anticipate challenges, develop effective strategies, and build a strong case on your behalf, ultimately positioning you for the best possible outcome.

Ensures You Have All the Proper Documentation

A divorce case can involve extensive discovery, especially if issues surrounding property are contested. These issues will require you to produce numerous documents. A divorce lawyer will ensure that you have all the proper documentation to facilitate a smooth progression of your case. 

Protects Your Best Interests

Fundamentally, people decide to divorce to escape situations and relationships that make them unhappy. This also means people are more likely to make mistakes in order to exit an unhealthy relationship, since you’ve likely never been through this before. We will act as your guardian and advocate and are committed to protecting your best interests throughout the legal process.

Asset Distribution

Dividing marital assets can be a complex and contentious process. Under Pennsylvania law, property obtained by either spouse between the date of marriage and date of divorce, is considered marital property (§3501). (§3501). Marital property is required to be equitably divided based on several factors (§3501). There is other property, which is not acquired during the marriage, which can have marital impact.

In addition to property, marital debts, such as car loans, credit card debts, and mortgages, are also subject to being equitably divided. The Pennsylvania divorce lawyers at SFS will fight to ensure your financial interests are protected.

Hidden Assets

Uncovering hidden assets is critical to protecting your interests. Pennsylvania law (§3504) requires both spouses to disclose their property. Sadly, some people attempt to hide marital assets to manipulate the equitable division process. In the appropriate case, a forensic accountant, with whom we will work closely with, can be invaluable.

People sometimes try to hide assets by overpaying their taxes, transferring money to different accounts, or simply making cash withdrawals. Combating these tactics requires a family law attorney with strong litigation skills. We have extensive experience in locating hidden assets using our investigative skills and forensic accountants and will fight to prevent your spouse from obtaining an unfair share of marital assets.

Summary of What a Divorce Lawyer Can Do For You

A divorce lawyer can be a comprehensive guide and ally. The lawyers at Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC can protect your rights while also working to resolve your divorce case efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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