Q: What steps should I take to file for divorce and custody in Ford City Pennsylvania.
I've been the only income for pretty much the whole 6 yr relationship. We have a 4yr old daughter. He's stayed home with her. And still refuses to get a job now that she's in headstart. And it's been nothing but emotional abuse and gaslighting. I have 3 son's from a previous relationship and they live out of state because they don't like him. And they have stated at court that he was abusive while I was at work. I feel I need to leave the relationship for a number of reasons.
A: I suggest that your first action should be to schedule a private consultation with a local attorney experienced in family to learn about your options and the divorce and custody processes. Even if you then decide to try to go it in your own without an attorney, which is generally not recommended, you'll at least have some rudimentary knowledge of what to look forward to.
This by no means is a "better" answer than that of my colleague. This merely supplements to a small extent an already effective response.
The asker must retain counsel. One cannot possibly rely on the integrity, impartiality and independence of the Pennsylvania judiciary. Especially given these facts, unfairness and policy enforcement awaits this asker. She is the breadwinner and the future non-custodial parent for child support purposes. The father has assumed the role of homemaker who is the beneficiary of divorce law as this law seeks to equitably divide the marital res between the parties.
If the asker balks at any point as to either the division of children or the division of marital assets, she will be met with judicial condemnation and rebuke. This will unfairly prejudice her and her case until completion and into post judgment.
Pennsylvania's matrimonial legal system is beset by policies that drive litigation. The appellate court (called the Superior Court in Pennsylvania) has as its doctrine the affirmation of any order sent to it on appeal. This means the trial judge rules over the parties whether by hunch or simple guesswork. The results can be devastating.
Before ever seeking government assistance, the asker must consult with an attorney in confidence and in honesty. The danger to watch out for when consulting with an attorney is to spot easy fixes and simple recommendations. Those are usually indicators that the attorney is faking his ability to achieve results, and with an hourly fee, can bill the asker into bankruptcy until she has to terminate services and free the lawyer of malpractice allegations.
The asker must shop around.
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