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ANDREA,, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  25 yrs Family Law, Real Estate & Business Law, Criminal Defense, Immigration, Employment Law
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i have been with my spouse for 19yrs and we have 2 children

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i have been with my spouse for 19yrs and we have 2 children and a dog and a home with a mortgage and a self employment business in which i helped him receive what are my common law rights in harrisburg pa when i am ready to seperate from him
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ANDREA, replied 6 years ago.

Good Evening,


Thank you for your question and for choosing JustAnswer




Pennsylvania does not have legal separation. Either party can leave the marital residence and if the parties can live separate and apart for a period of at least 2 years

may file a Complaint in divorce and will be granted a Divorce Decree under Section 3301(d) of the Pennsylvania Divorce Code.


During this period and prior to filing for divorce either spouse with the lesser income may file for spousal support; however, in spousal support situation te issue of entitlement arises and if the spouse seeking spousal support is guilty of misconduct they will not be awarded spousal.


Once a Complaint in Divorce has been filedm the party with less income may file a Petition for APL and Interim Counsel fees. If minor children are inovolved, child support is awarded to the custodial parent in accordance with the Pennsylania Supreme Court Guidelines.


Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state and upon dissolution of the marriage, if the parties have not come to an agreement on division of marital property, the Court will distribute the property between them based on equitable principles which may result in 50-50m 45-55, 60-40 and so on/


Marital proeprty is anything acquired during the course of the marriaqge, regardless of who bought it and in whose name the title is in. Gifts and inheritances are not marital proeprty, provided they are not commingled with martal property, Addidtionally, that portion of property attributalbe to appreciation during the marriage and in which the non-titled spouse contributed will be marital proeprty subject to equiable distribution.

A business which one spouse had prior to marriage but which the other spouse played an active role in its appreciation will share in the aprpreciated value.


There you have it. Pennsylvania divorce in a nut shell/ Since I do not know exactly what you are asking, please feel free to ask follow up questions or anything I can clarify




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Pennsylvania ascribe to the principle that each party should be independentl financially; Alimony is sparingly awarded and is rehabilitative in nature - should be used to acquire a skill to enter the work force. Pennsylvania Courts are very consrvative on this issue and if permanent alimony is awarded the recipient spouse has to be almost permanently disbled, practically paralyzed and confined to a wheel chair and it will be terminated upon the receipt of Social Security.

Any grounds for divorce and rights arising from the dissolution of a marriage are found in the Pennsylvania Divorce Code



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