Family Law Services
Unlike other kinds of legal disputes, divorce is very personal. There are many issues related to a divorce that will affect you long after the divorce is finalized. We help clients deal with the stress and pain of the divorce process and with their anxiety about the future by encouraging them to eliminate non-essential conflicts. Our lawyers have found that having clients focus on the central issues reduces tension and allows our clients to “move on with their lives” with a positive outlook for the future.
Litigation of custody, support, and property disputes is not the only answer, and in fact litigation should only be used as a last resort. Although our family law attorneys perform divorce litigation when reasonable agreements are unachievable, we work hard to limit your costs, both financial and emotional, by exploring resolution of your disputes outside of court. Resolving your disputes outside of family court also allows you to maintain control of the process and the terms of your agreements, rather than turning over control of your family’s future to the courts, who know very little about your circumstances.
Our lawyers are also experienced litigators. Many divorce case settle, but we always prepare for litigation. We feel that by being prepared to present the best case possible for you at trial, we can encourage successful settlements.
With approximately fifty-five percent of all marriages ending in divorce, and more than half of all children residing in single parent families, family law issues impact more individuals than probably any other area of the law. At Miller Law Offices, we serve clients throughout Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties, who are seeking effective solutions to complex family matters. Our office assists clients in all aspects of the law relating to the needs of today’s families, including: Divorce and annulment; Distribution of marital assets and debts; Spousal support and alimony; Prenuptials and Property Settlement Agreements; Child support; Child custody; Adoption; Termination of Parental Rights; Paternity.
If an individual gets married as a result of fraud or duress then Pennsylvania Law allows for an annulment of the marriage which treats the marriage as if it never even happened. The grounds for an annulment are separate and distinct from a divorce and annulment is limited to a very narrow set of factors in determining if an annulment is a viable option for the party seeking one.
We will work effectively to bring your case to a resolution. Some cases are settled in 90 days, others can take longer, depending on the size of the marital estate and the desire of the parties to resolve their conflict.
One of the most prominent concerns for individuals facing a divorce is the protection of their assets and their future financial security. We will work to uncover any hidden assets and assist you with the complicated division of retirement accounts, employment related benefits, business valuation, stocks, and savings. We routinely work with experts including business valuation experts, pension valuators, and forensic accountants to protect your investments and assets during and after a divorce proceeding. It is our primary objective to see your interests protected and your future secured.
Pennsylvania family law allows for payments to be made to a spouse upon separation, prior to the filing of a divorce complaint. This is called spousal support. Spousal support in Pennsylvania is usually not available if the two parties continue to live under the same roof. However, if one party can prove that the other is not contributing to the household expenses, spousal support may be collected. In Pennsylvania the spouse who has to pay support has the right to an entitlement defense to the payment of spousal support, if the spouse receiving support has committed one of the fault-based grounds for divorce. There is no defined length of time that spousal support must be paid. Spousal support is paid until the divorce decree is filed.
Another option in Pennsylvania, once a divorce complaint has been filed is alimony pendente lite (APL) (alimony pending the litigation). Spousal support and APL are calculated using the same formula and is determined according to the parties earnings and/or earning capacities.
The purpose for APL in Pennsylvania is to “level the playing field” financially which would permit both spouses to move forward with the divorce action without one party using his/her economic resources to the detriment of the dependent spouse.
Alimony is available to spouses who will need additional funds to meet their reasonable needs; to get them back on their feet financially, to the point that they can financially provide for themselves. In determining the amount of alimony and the length of time alimony will be paid, the courts will evaluate 17 factors when deciding if alimony should be awarded, how much and for how long.