Chester County Divorce Lawyer
In Chester County, you can file for a divorce on either "fault" or "no-fault" grounds.
Any Chester County divorce attorney will advise you that it is most common to file for a no-fault divorce. When a "fault" divorce is pursued, it is typically for marital infidelity. I represent individuals throughout Chester County who are in need of a divorce attorney for either a "fault" or "no-fault" divorce. The divorce process is confusing and complex, and there is a lot at risk including custody, support, and assets.
If you are looking for a competent, experienced attorney who will help you navigate through the difficult process of your Chester County divorce, call me today to schedule a free consultation. My Chester County office is conveniently located in downtown West Chester at 32 Church Street. Consultations are always free and confidential.
Questions Pertaining to Divorce in Chester County
Where does a divorce complaint get filed in Chester County?
If you are filing for divorce in Chester County, it is initiated by the filing of a divorce complaint at the Chester County Prothonotary's Office, which is located in downtown West Chester. The exact location of the Chester County Justice Center is 201 Market Street in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
What do I need to file a divorce case in Chester County?
The procedural rules governing a divorce in Chester County are dictated by both the Pennsylvania Divorce Code and the Chester County Local Rules. The Chester County Local Rules can be viewed here.
How long will a divorce take in Chester County?
When you file for divorce in Chester County, the length of time it will take to get divorced depends on several factor and circumstances specific to your case. If you and your spouse both consent to the divorce, have been living separate and apart for two years, and all ancillary issues pertaining to marital property are resolved, then it may be possible to complete your divorce in a matter of weeks. If you and your spouse both consent to the divorce but have not been living separate and part for two years, there will be a requisite 90 day waiting period after service of the divorce complaint. In this scenario, assuming there are no ancillary issues and there is full cooperation from all parties involved in signing papers, it will likely take a minimum of 4 months to obtain a final divorce decree. If the divorce is contested in any aspect by either party, then there is no way to ascertain how long it will take to finalize the Divorce. Please note than on October 4, 2016,Pennsylvania signed into law a statute reducing the required period of separation from 2 years to 1 year, however the statute only affects those cases where the period of separation begins 60 days after passage of the law.
What are the filing fees in Chester County for a divorce?
The filing fees in Chester County vary depending upon the relief your are seeking. The more counts that are added to the divorce complaint, the higher the fee. The filing fees are paid to the Chester County Prothonotary, and their family law fee schedule can be viewed here.
Do I need to hire a lawyer for a divorce in Chester County?
There is no procedural requirement to hire an attorney to handle your divorce in Chester County. When making the decision to hire counsel in your divorce matter, you should consider the issues at hand in your specific case. If you have children, significant assets & liabilities, retirement accounts, are self employed, or have complicated property issues, I would strongly advise seeking the advice of a qualified attorney to get advice on your rights.
Will I have to appear in court for my divorce?
In Chester County, a court appearance is not mandatory for a divorce action. The need to appear is circumstantial, and depends on what issues are outstanding in your case. If there are legal issues that cannot be resolved by you and your spouse, it is likely that one of you will need to make a request with the Court to have a Judge or Master assigned to your case so they can make a determination on the outstanding dispute.