In the U.S. and other Western counties, over 90 percent of people get married before age 50, but up to 50 percent of couples get divorced. Knowing what to do when you need to get divorced or respond to a divorce can be accomplished by meeting with a Pittsburgh divorce attorney.

If you are planning to file for divorce in Pittsburgh, Indiana Township, Oakmont Borough, Penn Hills, Fox Chapel, Ross Township, or O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania, or have recently been served with papers from your spouse regarding an upcoming divorce — you need to understand your rights and responsibilities for a successful outcome. Hiring a trusted and experienced divorce attorney gives you the best chance to understand the process and to feel fully prepared.


Pennsylvania recognizes no-fault and fault grounds for divorce.

Establishing Fault

In a fault-based divorce, one spouse is arguing that the other has committed some form of misconduct. Such grounds include bigamy, adultery, abandonment for a minimum of one year, cruelty or domestic violence, and one person’s imprisonment for at least two years. These fault grounds can factor into alimony decisions even though they are not considered in the awarding of property.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

For a no-fault divorce, no misconduct is alleged against either spouse. Instead, the spouses agree that they have reached an “irretrievable breakdown.” This means that the marriage is broken down beyond repair and that both parties can no longer get along. This is distinguished by either mutual consent or an irretrievable breakdown without mutual consent. Factors for mutual consent include:

  • The couple must agree their marriage is broken irretrievably

  • 90 days must have passed since the original divorce filing

  • Both spouses must full out an affidavit stating they consent to the divorce

Without mutual consent refers to a situation in which one person wants the divorce and the other doesn’t want to end the marriage. The court can grant the divorce in this case if:

  • The divorce complaint says the marriage is broken irretrievably

  • The filing party submitted an affidavit saying that the couple has lived apart and separate for a minimum of two years

Allegheny Attorneys at Law has helped many families through the process of divorce. Whether you’re in the early stages of contemplating and understanding or in the midst of a contentious divorce dispute, put my experience to work for you so you can find a way to move forward.




The primary issues decided in your divorce include spousal support, child support, child custody, and division of assets. Either spouse must have lived in Pennsylvania for a minimum of six months before initiating the divorce process. In the streamlined Pittsburgh divorce process, both spouses agree to get divorced and simply wait 90 days after filing to finalize the paperwork.

Understanding Spousal Support

Spousal support is not automatically awarded in a Pennsylvania divorce. Judges look at factors like the current earnings of each spouse, anticipated inheritances, liabilities and assets, each spouse’s education, property brought into the marriage, and the needs and capabilities of each party.

The Responsibility of Child Support

A judge can order child support in Pennsylvania to be paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support lasts until the child reaches age 18, but it can be extended beyond that if the child has special needs. Support is based on the amount the child needs and the child support guidelines established through the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The court explores daycare expenses, parent’s income amounts, and the cost of healthcare insurance when determining a fair child support agreement.

Determining Child Custody Arrangements

Child custody is determined based on the judge’s interpretation of the best interests of the child, accounting for physical, mental, emotional, and developmental well-being. Judges look at existing family relationships and the location of each parent in making a decision about child custody. The statutes contain a gender-neutrality provision so as not to favor one parent over another based on gender.

Dividing Assets Fairly

Property is divided on an equitable basis in Pennsylvania, but this does not mean all property is evenly split down the middle. The judge evaluates property division in Pittsburgh based on factors like the length of the marriage, the health and age of each spouse, income and skills for each spouse, future earning capacity, tax implications, and the income of both parties.


Even when things seem to be progressing amicably, there are many reasons why having a legal advocate in your corner is the best move for your case. There may be unexpected questions that arise and decisions to make, so you want to ensure your best interests are represented effectively. You don't want to risk an unfavorable outcome to your divorce because you took on your challenges alone. Call my firm today to have a skilled divorce attorney on your side every step of the way.


I work hard on behalf of my Pittsburgh divorce clients because I know how challenging this process is for you. I recognize and value how your divorce will impact your personal life and the future of your family, so I provide you with personalized and dedicated service. You’re not in this process alone — call Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. today for a consultation.