Category Archives: Articles

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AOUT MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS

When it comes to settling property, alimony, and debt, Pennsylvania courts are “equitable” courts, basically meaning that the court can do whatever it thinks is “fair”. There is nothing set in stone or that guarantees what a court may decide is fair. When the court divides the marital assets and debts, it may consider many factors, including the length of the marriage and the needs of each party; the age, health, and income of each party; who will have primary custody of the children; and the contribution of each party to acquiring and improving the marital property (including the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker). It is important to remember that in dividing the marital assists and debts, the court does not consider marital misconduct before the separation.

When it comes down to it, whatever reasonable solution that you both agree to is what will be considered “fair.” Typically, the appraised value of property is what it is actually worth on the market, and would be used to determine its value. Most of my clients just want to be fair and split the equity that there is down the middle equally. It’s usually the fastest and easiest way to do it. Whether this is what you both agree to is the most important factor. There are many ways to come to an agreement that you both think is fair.

Regarding alimony, there is no real “formula” that is set in stone. Alimony is for supporting a spouse (wife or husband) after the divorce is granted. A spouse is entitled to alimony only if the court decides that alimony is “necessary.” In order to decide if alimony is necessary, the amount, and how long it should be paid, the court considers several things – including the relative income and earning capacities of the parties, the health and ages of the parties, the length of the marriage, the contribution by one party to the education and training of the other party, the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker, and the marital misconduct of a spouse before the separation. It is very difficult for any attorney to predict how much, if any, alimony will be awarded by the judge.

Regarding the settlement agreement, please remember that No Contest Divorce, LLC only handles uncontested divorces. You both must agree, be cooperative, and willing to be divorced. This includes your settlement agreement. We don’t handle settlement agreement disputes as part of our services. We’d have to charge a lot more in that case. That’s for full service law firms that will charge you a bundle. If you have any questions about settlement agreement, please call and an attorney will be happy to help you. Also, check out our blogs for more marital settlement agreement information.

OUR PROCESS- UNCONTESTED PENNSYLVANIA DIVORCE

THE NO CONTEST DIVORCE, LLC METHOD OF DIVORCE IS CHEAPER, FASTER, AND EASIER THAN EVER!

We do things differently than other law firms, because we want your experience to be as hassle-free and as painless as possible. Our process and documents are tailored to your divorce, saving you time and money. We provide proactive updates during your divorce so you know where your case stands all along the way. Plus, we are constantly improving The No Contest Divorce, LLC Method to provide excellent, hassle-free service to our clients. Here’s a brief overview of our process (more detailed instructions will be sent to you during the process- but don’t worry, we always keep things simple for you). Read our client testimonials to see what our past clients have to say.

THE PROCESS:

  • Once you have completed THE DIVORCE MASTER and made payment, we will start on your uncontested divorce case within one business day-usually the same day. During your entire case, make sure to check your email at least as often as you would check your regular “snail mail”- we stay in contact with you via email and will send you important documents and updates regarding your divorce case.
  • Next, we will email you a Divorce Complaint for a section 3301(c) divorce or a section 3301(d) divorce. Both section 3301(c) and 3301(d) divorces are simple, no-fault, uncontested Pennsylvania divorces. An attorney will make sure to prepare and email you the correct Divorce Complaint for your specific case based on the information you provided in THE DIVORCE MASTER. If you have ordered additional services, such as a Marital Settlement AgreementRetaking a Maiden or Prior Name, or Removal of a Spouse’s Name on a Pennsylvania Property Deed, we will email you separate instructions for each service at the same time.
  • Once you get the email, open and review the attached ComplaintYou must then confirm that the information in the Complaint is correct and make any necessary payment by clicking on the button provided in the email.
  • Upon receiving your confirmation and any necessary payment, we will print your Divorce Complaint. Your attorney will then sign it and put it in the mail along with another document, called a Notice To Defend And Claim Rights, and both will be filed with the court. This will happen within one business day.
  • The court will typically file and return the Divorce Complaint and Notice to us within 2-3 weeks. Then we will prepare very specific, customized instructions and documents, and send them to you along with the Divorce Complaint and Notice that was filed and returned by the court. Then depending on which divorce service you have chosen, either you or No Contest Divorce, LLC will “serve” your spouse the divorce paperwork and instructions for signing.
  • READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. You must “snail mail” us only ORIGINAL SIGNEDdocuments. The court will not accept scanned or photocopied documents, and your case will be delayed and you will be charged more if you do not follow the instructions exactly. After reading the instructions at least 3 times, you can contact us if you have any questions. The instructions are very clear, and 99% of all questions we get are typically already answered in the instructions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR DIVORCE PROCESS

How do I know if I have a section 3301(c) divorce or a 3301(d) divorce?

If you have been separated less than 1 year, you have a 3301(c) divorce. If you have been separated for 1 year or more, you have a 3301(d) divorce. Don’t worry, we will prepare the correct documents for your specific case automatically. Click here to see how long it will take before your uncontested divorce is final.

What does it mean to “serve” my spouse?

It means to deliver the Compliant and Notice to Defend And Claim Rights to your spouse, and to make sure that your spouse signs a document called an Acceptance of Service to prove that your spouse was served.

You also have the option to have us serve your spouse via regular, certified or restricted delivery mail for a small additional fee. You may also decide to save money and serve your spouse yourself. In that case, then does not matter how you deliver the documents to your spouse, just that you actually do serve them a “true and correct copy”. We will prepare all of the documents that you need in order to serve your spouse, along with instructions.

IF I HAVE A SECTION 3301(C) DIVORCE, THERE IS A 90 DAY WAITING PERIOD. HOW DOES THAT WORK?

Once your spouse has signed the Acceptance of Service, count 91 full days. Do NOT count the day that your spouse signed the Acceptance of Service as a full day (so it would be day “0”, and the next day would be day “1” for counting purposes). Circle the 91 st day in red ink on your calendar. That is the day you and your spouse will be able to sign the rest of the divorce paperwork and “snail mail” all of the documents back to us so we can complete your divorce.

CAN I EMAIL YOU THE DIVORCE PAPERWORK?

No. All documents that will be filed with the court must be originals, so they must be mailed to us. (The only emailed documents that you can email us are the Settlement Agreement Questionnaireand a copy of your PA property deed, if you have are having us prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement or if we are preparing Removal of a Spouse’s Name from a Pennsylvania Property Deed.)

DOES THE PAPERWORK NEED TO BE NOTARIZED?

Yes. The instructions that we send you will tell you which documents need to be notarized. This protects against forgeries and is required by the divorce court. If you or your spouse is out of the country, then the equivalent of a notary may be used. You do not have to go to the same notary. You can go to any notary in any state, or the equivalent of a notary if you are in another country.