People never think it will happen to them.
No couple gets married thinking they will get a divorce. But the reality is that more than half of marriages end in some form of litigation. Divorce is an emotional roller coaster that seldom goes smoothly despite the parties’ best intentions. Attorney Lewis will provide the necessary information and expertise to manage your expectations, focus on the long game, and strategize both offensively and defensively. In addition to the actual divorce, you may face battles for the custody and support of your children, or the support of your ex-spouse for years to come. Each is a separate issue which demands various levels of court involvement.
Equitable Distribution - Under Pennsylvania law, all assets and debts accumulated during a marriage belong to both parties and are subject to distribution in an equitable manner. Ensuring clients maintain the absolute maximum of their assets is a clear priority.
Alimony - A post divorce payment from the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse, alimony is often an integral component of a divorce settlement or award.
Attorney Fees and Costs - Divorce is expensive. Under certain circumstances it may be appropriate for one spouse to pay for some (or all) of the other’s attorney fees and/or court costs.
Exclusive Possession - The marital home is often the most significant asset of a marriage and may become the catalyst of intense debate. You are not expected to live in a hostile environment while going through a divorce, and if the opportunity presents itself, obtaining exclusive possession of the marital home can provide some stability at a time when the rest of your life seems to be in upheaval.
Child custody is an area of law Attorney Lewis is passionate about and advocates for with unwavering dedication. Many people believe that children always “go with the mother.” While that may have been true in the past, today’s courts focus on the best interests of the children. Attorney Lewis will explain the factors which govern the “best interest” analysis in order to determine what course to take in this crucial matter.
Custody is two-fold— legal custody and physical custody:
Legal Custody refers to who makes the decisions for the children’s education, medical treatment, religious affiliation, and all the decisions parents have to make in raising their children. There is a strong presumption in the law for shared legal custody in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Physical Custody refers to the home in which the children reside. There is a wide range of possible outcomes, from the archaic “standard” of primary physical custody with the mother and alternating weekends with the father, to 50/50 shared physical custody, and even the father having primary custody. Just like each family, each case is different. Work schedules, living arrangements, and past criminal history are just a few of the factors which must be weighed and analyzed.
Child - When parents separate, a determination must be made as to how much of the financial responsibility for rearing the children is borne by each parent pursuant to their respective incomes. Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or a highly paid corporate executive, Attorney Lewis will advocate for a fair and equitable allocation of responsibility.
Spousal - Married parties often have unequal incomes, and the lower earning spouse may be entitled to financial support pending a divorce.