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Divorce in Luzerne County
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Online Divorce in Luzerne County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com is a paperwork drafting service, not a law firm. We cannot give you legal advice. However, we do our best to provide you with correctly completed divorce paperwork quickly and at affordable prices.
Those who want to get a divorce in Luzerne County are seeking the fastest and easiest way to arrange this challenging process.
An uncontested divorce is the first step in arranging a straightforward and stress-free divorce process in Luzerne County, PA. This is when both parties agree to file for divorce and not contest the case. By resolving all the essential matters of the separation jointly, the spouses can avoid a lengthy divorce trial.
Spouses who can reach an agreement on their own on important issues like child custody, property division, and alimony, have the right to arrange even a simple do-it-yourself divorce in Luzerne County. DIY-divorce means that the couple goes through the divorce process without a lawyer or any other legal representatives. The most complicated task for such a couple is to collect, fill out, and file the necessary divorce forms and documents.
In the U.S., required divorce papers vary depending on the state and county. Luzerne County is no exception. Therefore, it can be difficult to sort out which legal forms are relevant for a particular court and divorce case.
This is where OnlineDivorce.com comes into play. OnlineDivorce.com is an easy and inexpensive option for completing divorce paperwork. For a low flat rate with no hidden fees, OnlineDivorce.com will assist you in determining, collecting, and completing the necessary documents. Compared to attorney fees for uncontested cases, the service is much cheaper, often saving customers hundreds of dollars on divorce paperwork preparation.
Based on the information provided by the client, OnlineDivorce.com accurately prepares all the necessary paperwork, taking into account the peculiarities of each case so that you can receive the court-ready package of printable forms within a couple of days. Since the reliable service is available online, you can complete the whole process without even leaving the comfort of your home, and at any time that is convenient for you.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Luzerne County
Both fault-based and no-fault grounds are recognized to obtain a divorce in Luzerne County, PA.
Willful and malicious desertion for the period of one or more years
Cruel treatment endangered the life or health of the injured and innocent spouse
Imprisonment for at least two years upon conviction of having committed a crime
Abusive conduct, which makes the other spouse's condition intolerable and the marriage unbearable
Another ground for divorce in Luzerne County that requires evidence is the insanity or severe mental disorder of either spouse that has resulted in confinement in a mental institution for at least 18 months prior to filing for divorce. Validation from the treating physician is required.
The no-fault divorce in Luzerne County is possible under the following grounds:
Mutual consent (the spouses file an affidavit that they consent to a divorce). In this case, 90 days must elapse from the date of the commencement of the action before the divorce can be granted.
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (the spouses have lived separately and apart for at least two years before filing the Petition).
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Based on the Pennsylvania Code, Sec. 5304, in a divorce in Luzerne County with children involved, shared custody is preferred so long as it meets the best interest of the child.
The court considers each dissolution case individually to determine what would be in the interest of a child under the given circumstances.
There are no strict provisions as to what shared custody means. Both parents are assumed to have equal rights and close contact with the child. It may be either physical or legal custody or both. The parents may allocate their rights and responsibilities on their own by submitting a parenting plan to the court. Judges consider these plans and make their decisions based on numerous factors, such as:
the physical and mental health of a child and each parent;
each parent's ability to maintain the child's well-being;
the child's relationships with each parent;
each parent's ability to encourage the contact of a child with the other parent;
any history of domestic violence, abuse, or criminal record of parents;
child's preferences in case if a child is mature enough to express them before the court;
and any other factors that the court may deem to be significant.
In Luzerne County, PA, the parents are usually required to attend parenting classes, which are designed to help them adjust to the shared custody and minimize the harm of divorce to the child.
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Rules for child support in Luzerne County
In Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support after a divorce. The purpose of child support is to provide the child with the means to live as was established before the parents' divorce.
This obligation is based on the net income, assets, and earning power of both spouses, as well as any specific needs of the child.
Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines is a comprehensive set of rules used to determine child support for a particular divorce case. These guidelines are followed in all divorce cases unless the spouses have agreed to a child support amount on their own which the court has approved.
The exact amount of child support may be calculated with the PA Child Support Estimator. This calculator takes into account each parent's income, and the needs of the child (healthcare, everyday expenses, etc.)
Rules for spousal support in Luzerne County
In Pennsylvania divorce, alimony is ordered on a case-by-case basis, and only if there is strong evidence of its necessity.
each spouse's current income and earning capacity;
each spouse's age and health condition;
each spouse's separate property, inheritances, etc.;
each spouse's financial needs;
the contribution by one party to the earning capacity of the other;
custody arrangements if any;
the standard of living while married;
education of the spouse seeking alimony, as well as the time he/she needs for completing education or retraining to find decent employment;
any marital misconduct or fault;
whether the spouse seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate work;
and other factors that the court may deem to be significant.
Uncontested Luzerne County divorce with children
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Property division in Luzerne County
Under the Pennsylvania Code, Sec. 3502, the state of Pennsylvania has adopted the method of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing assets in a divorce.
This method implies that each spouse's separate property should remain such, and all the marital property (acquired during the marriage) should be divided between the parties equitably, though not necessarily equally.
To determine how property must be divided in a particular case, the court considers factors, such as:
the length of the marriage;
each spouse's age, health condition, income, amount of separate property, employability, and liabilities;
each spouse's reasonable needs;
each spouse's contribution to the education or increased earning power of the other party;
each spouse's contribution into acquisition and increasing of marital property, including non-monetary contribution;
the standard of living while married;
child custody arrangements, if any;
the Federal, State, and local tax ramifications associated with each asset to be divided;
and other significant factors.
Mediation support in Luzerne County
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution designed to help the spouses to settle the terms of their dissolution jointly to avoid conflicts. During the mediation session, the neutral mediator works with both parties, assisting them in negotiation. As a result, the spouses can draw up a Marital Settlement Agreement or Parenting Plan, that will be approved by the court and allow the case to proceed as an uncontested divorce in Luzerne County.
The state of Pennsylvania does not have any legal provisions concerning mediation. Nevertheless, many couples prefer to participate in at least one session to determine whether this method is fitting to them.
How to file for divorce in Luzerne County | Step-by-Step
To apply for divorce in Luzerne County, the spouses must meet the residency requirements of the state of Pennsylvania. Under the PA Code, Sec. 3104, at least one of the spouses must be "a bona fide resident in this Commonwealth" for at least six months before filing the petition."
In Luzerne County, the Court of Common Pleas handles family law cases, including dissolution procedures.
The petitioner (also called the plaintiff) must prepare the divorce forms and documents required for the particular divorce case, then fill them out and in compliance with the state and county local rules and submit them to the court.
The plaintiff should make copies of the papers and deliver them to the second spouse (called the defendant). This is called the serving process. The divorce papers must be handed to the defendant, but the plaintiff is not allowed to do it personally. The papers may be served by mail, by a deputy sheriff or someone else who is not related to the case. The relevant documents which confirm the service was completed (Affidavit of Service or Certificate of Service, and one another specific form, depending on the type of the service process) must be filed with the court. The plaintiff may find more information about how to serve the spouse in a particular case by reviewing the Pennsylvania Rules of Court.
The divorce process starts when the defendant is served with the papers. After that, there is a waiting period. The spouses shall wait 90 days from the date of serving. The defendant is given time to file a response, and then the parties shall submit the consent forms.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney
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Filing fees for divorce in Luzerne County
The cost of divorce in Luzerne County is hard to predict since it depends on numerous individual peculiarities of the case, as well as the method which the couple chooses to arrange the process.
Regardless of the type of dissolution, at the time the plaintiff files the Petition and Summons, he or she must pay a mandatory court filing fee. In Pennsylvania, the filing fee can be more or less depending on if custody is involved, but on average costs around $150.
If the plaintiff cannot afford to pay this fee, he or she can ask to waive the fees by completing a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and providing their financial information as evidence.
How long will it take?
Like the cost of divorce, it is hard to answer how long a divorce will take. The length of divorce process depends on numerous factors including the type of dissolution, how quickly the parties are able to prepare the necessary papers, and whether they are able to come to a settlement on custody and property issues. Even in the shortest possible terms, Pennsylvania Family Law requires a mandatory waiting period before any divorce can be finalized. The spouses filing for uncontested divorce must wait at least ninety days before the court will enter a divorce judgment.
Filing for divorce in Luzerne County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Luzerne County?
The initial cost of any dissolution of marriage in Luzerne County is equal to the court filing fee. However, the rest of the expenses vary significantly from case to case. Other expenses may include lawyers' fees, divorce mediation, counseling, parenting classes costs, online divorce services costs, sheriff's fees for the service process, etc.
How do you file for divorce in Luzerne County without a lawyer?
Do-it-yourself divorce (or Pro Se divorce, in legal terms) is allowed in the state of Pennsylvania. In the case of an amicable no-fault divorce, the spouses may be able do without a lawyer. They can get the needed divorce forms in the court clerk's office or use an online divorce service to save time. Pennsylvania courts provide a self-help guide for those who want to represent themselves before the court.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Luzerne County?
Pennsylvania legal forms necessary in a case where the spouses have reached an agreement include but not be limited:
Notice to Defend and Divorce Complaint
Acceptance of Service
Certificate of Service
Marital Settlement Agreement.
Affidavit of Consent of Plaintiff
Affidavit of Consent of Defendant
Waiver of Notice for Defendant
Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Section 3301(c), Divorce Decree, and Counter-Affidavit under 3301(c) (PA divorce Form 7).
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
In Pennsylvania, once a divorce is finalized, and the Divorce Decree is issued, no waiting period is required to be able to remarry.
Divorce in Luzerne County online
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We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
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We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
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With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
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lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
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