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What to consider when engaging in a DIY divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2022 | Divorce

The state of Pennsylvania generally allows couples to end their marriages without the assistance of an attorney. Completing the divorce process in an informal manner may help a divorcing couple save thousands of dollars or more in legal fees, and it may also help to streamline the process of ending a marriage. However, those who choose to divorce without the help of legal counsel may also be at a higher risk of committing serious errors.

Child support is calculated by the state

Most people assume that they determine how much they will pay in child support each month. However, the state uses a number of variables to calculate how much your son or daughter is entitled to. These variables typically include the number of children that you have, how much time you spend with them and your monthly or annual income. Even if your spouse agrees to take less than the state minimum, a judge may require you to comply with state guidelines before allowing a parenting plan to take effect.

What are you actually entitled to in a settlement?

You may assume that you’re entitled to half of the assets inside of the marital estate. However, what you receive in a final divorce settlement is generally determined by the details of your case. For instance, let’s say that your spouse owned property prior to the start of the marriage.

In such a scenario, those items may be exempt from the marital estate. It’s also possible that you’ll receive a portion of whatever price appreciation took place after the marriage began. You should also know that you’re not automatically entitled to spousal support simply because you earn less than your spouse or because you exited the workforce after the marriage began.

In most cases, divorce settlement documents are binding after they are signed. Therefore, it is generally in your best interest to take as much time as necessary to review and understand them before making an agreement official.

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