Philadelphia Divorce Court — What to Expect

The Divorce Process in Pennsylvania
Helping you make informed, intelligent decisions during a Pennsylvania divorce
The Pennsylvania divorce process is different for everyone. It can be simple or complex. The challenges you face will depend on your unique situation. At the Law Office of Douglas Earl LLC, we have helped clients navigate through the divorce process for more than 28 years.
The decisions you make today will affect you and your family tomorrow. Representation from a dedicated Pennsylvania divorce lawyer can make all the difference. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact our law firm to learn how we can help you negotiate a fair divorce settlement or defend your interests in Philadelphia divorce court.

What to Expect in a Divorce: The Step-by-Step Process
Filing divorce papers: The first step in any divorce is to file divorce papers/the divorce complaint with Pennsylvania’s Court of Common Pleas.

Temporary child support and spousal support: Generally, when children are involved, you will receive a quick court date for child support and/or spousal support. This hearing is necessary in order to ensure that all parties receive the financial assistance they need to maintain the marital standard of living during divorce proceedings. It is held in front of a hearing officer who makes a temporary finding for support. You may contest the hearing officer’s decision by bringing an appeal to a hearings master and, if necessary, a judge.

Temporary child custody: Child custody is usually determined through a custody conciliation conference. During the conciliation conference, both spouses present information to a custody conciliator who then makes a recommendation for legal and physical custody. If the parties cannot agree to child custody, the custody conciliator’s recommendation will be entered as a temporary order to be abided to until a more permanent child custody order is established.

Petitioning for other temporary orders: Any time a significant problem arises during a divorce, you can file a petition with the court. For example, you may petition the court for temporary orders for protection or for exclusive possession of the marital residence.

Interrogatories: Each party will have a chance to serve written questions on the other party in order to prepare for trial. Parties must answer these questions truthfully unless the questions are overly burdensome.

Masters hearings/divorce court:
 Most divorce cases are initially heard by a master for domestic relations. If you do not agree with the master’s decision, you can appeal your case to a judge.
Since every divorce is unique, every divorce timeline is unique. You and your spouse may be able to come to an agreement in divorce mediation or you may have to battle out your differences in court. No matter what you face, we are here for you.

Helping You Through the Divorce Process

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help people going through divorce in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.
Contact an experienced attorney today about the divorce process in Philadelphia.