Before committing to a decision as final and far-reaching as divorce, many spouses who experience marital troubles first attempt a trial separation.
The word “separation” can have different meanings to different people. In many states, separation is more than the physical act of living apart from a spouse — it is also a legal status that estranged spouses can have for years, or even decades.
Pennsylvania does not recognize this sort of extended marital purgatory. Separation begins the moment one spouse serves the other with divorce papers and continues for at least 90 days until a divorce can be granted.
At the law firm of Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we help clients who are considering separation and divorce, and those who have recently been served with papers, to resolve their legal issues through negotiation, mediation, and if necessary, in-court litigation.
Allegheny County Legal Separation Divorce Attorneys
If you are thinking about the word “separation,” or using it in your discussions with friends and family members, you are likely at or just past a tipping point in your marriage. Perhaps it is still possible to save your marriage, but you need to redefine the ground rules if it is to survive. Perhaps you know your marriage is over, but you are not quite ready to legally end it. Or perhaps you are ready to divorce, but you need advice on how to proceed.
Whichever scenario describes your situation, our experienced lawyers have helped many clients to prepare their lives for the next steps, using these and other legal tools.
- Postnuptial agreements. We’ve all heard of prenuptial agreements, which set the financial responsibilities between two people before a marriage begins. But such agreements are not limited to being created before marriage. Couples may create marital agreements at any point before or during marriage, including when the marriage has hit a rough patch or is nearing its conclusion.
- Pre-divorce negotiations. If your divorce filing is imminent or has recently occurred, it is a good time to discuss with your spouse issues concerning property division, custody of children, and family support. One of our experienced divorce lawyers can facilitate dialog between spouses, either as an intermediary or as your advocate in discussions with your spouse’s attorney.
- Pre-divorce mediations. If you and your spouse cannot resolve your issues in negotiations, we can represent you in a pre-divorce mediation. An impartial mediator will hear your concerns and those of your spouse and suggest compromises that you can accept, reject, or use as discussion points in later negotiations.
- Divorce litigation. Although a court fight is almost always more expensive in terms of time, money and emotional distress than the alternatives, it is sometimes unavoidable, and even necessary. Our attorneys are experienced at trial and can help you prepare for it thoroughly.
Prepare Before You Separate | Call Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby
The end of a relationship is no time to be caught flat-footed. The amount of time you have been separated can be important in some cases if you are looking to obtain a quick divorce.
To discuss your circumstances and options with a Pittsburgh legal separation attorney, contact Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby online or by calling 412-261-4040.