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  • Writer's pictureSeth Eric Springer, Esq.

How Much Does a Contested Divorce Cost in PA?

Getting divorced is not just an emotional experience but expensive, particularly if a person is not prepared and does not explore their options. Suppose both parties agree on the divorce, the distribution of the property, and the care for their children, including child support, visitation, and custody. In that case, one can file for an uncontested divorce.

But if they don’t, they can file for a contested divorce. This type of divorce is where the spouses can’t agree and should go through the divorce process to get a judge to make the final decision. The uncontested divorce is obtained by filing a joint divorce petition, while a contested divorce is done by filling the divorce papers and serving their spouse with them.

What does it mean to have a contested divorce in PA?

What Does it Mean to Have a Contested Divorce in PA?

A contested divorce is what its name implies. Both spouses wish to contest one or more of the concerns that need to be fixed as part of their divorce. Most contested divorces focus on the same major problems, such as visitation concerns, child custody, the length of alimony, and the division of marital assets.

Nonetheless, contested concerns could be about anything that’s a sticking point between both spouses. One might have trouble determining how pensions should be divided, who gets the house, or even who gets the family pet.

By their very nature, marriages are complicated relationships, so unwinding the elements of that relationship can be complicated too.

How Much Does it Take to Finalize a Contested Divorce in PA?

How long it takes to finalize a contested divorce in PA is related to the complexity and the number of unresolved concerns between spouses. The length of time depends on the level of trust and how much cooperation between parties. One can be looking at a case that can be resolved in less than four to six months or a case that could drag on for a few years.

Part of that answer depends on the person’s mind and financial resources. If one party has a half-hearted will to fight or has limited finances, they might wish to try and become more conciliatory toward their spouse.

Another way to approach this is to determine what is vital to the person versus what they are eager to give up as part of the negotiation. If one party gets custody of the kids, keeping the family house might be a good priority.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Contested Divorce in PA?

As far as expenses are concerned, a contested divorce in PA is never cheap. For instance, lawyers will charge as little as $200 per hour to over $1,000 per hour. Further, there could be many hours involved in this divorce. The divorce cost in PA without a lawyer can be cheaper but will make it a more challenging process.

That is another great reason for narrowing concerns down from the beginning. Bear in mind that the more you spend on the divorce, the less there is to restart life after the fact. Indeed, it might be money well financed if one is fighting for a considerable amount of child support, alimony, and assets.

Only the person can weigh such decisions properly based on their individual situation.

How to Prepare for a Contested Divorce in PA?

Experienced divorce lawyers in York PA can guide someone through the necessary steps to prepare for a contested divorce. The goal must be to protect their rights while coming to an agreement that makes sense for both parties.

Collecting documentation and strategizing what they wish as a final result are keys for preparation. It is better to over-prepare instead of going in half-heartedly. It will also help if someone assumes their spouse will become a formidable opponent. A great lawyer will shore up any gaps on your side and expect the same from their spouse.

Further, it will help to prepare emotionally and mentally for a contested divorce. Spouses may disagree and have a difficult time negotiating about important matters, such as what the wife is entitled to in a divorce in PA. Spouses often ignore this part of the whole equation. A divorce lawyer might help them with this, but they should not be shocked if they also need to count on a therapist to help them through.

Divorce is surely a long journey, from filing a petition to having the judge mark a final decree.

If you need help with contested divorce in PA, can help. Call us at (717) 864-0885 to get started.

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