Lower Merion Township Family Law Attorney
Lower Merion is an "inner ring" suburb. Its population of 58,000 people or so is tucked right next to the urban bustle of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. With only 5.5% of its inhabitants below poverty level, 76% with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and a lovely, historic Main Line location, who wouldn’t want to live in Lower Merion Township? Apparently, just Narberth!
Marriage in the Air
Community, education, good health, and family are important in Lower Merion. After all, more than half (57%) of Merion residents are married! That’s one of the best rates in the area.
Maybe the Philadelphia Country Club had something to do with that. Or maybe it was the gardens at Appleford that hosts these blessed events. Even if Patti LaBelle doesn’t croon at every ceremony, Merion and marriage seem to go together - even the name sounds like "marry on!"
Why You Might Need a Family Lawyer
Marriage, divorce, separation, annulment, child custody and support, alimony, adoption, paternity, and every other aspect of "family" is covered under the umbrella of Family Law in the Pennsylvania courts.
That includes prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, custody and visitation schedules, restraining orders and domestic violence resources. No matter what issues arise with your partner, spouse, or ex, the family court is there to sort it out.
In cases of divorce or child custody, which are the two most common, you’re allowed to handle the case yourself in court. However, unless both parties are in TOTAL agreement about everything, it will get messy. No matter how much your relationship has deteriorated, you really need to think about what’s best for the future. A good family law attorney will bring a cool, calm mindset to the turbulent waters of divorce and provide knowledge and resources to help you open a new chapter in your life.
Getting a Divorce in Lower Merion
There were rules before you could get married, and there are more rules when dividing such a union. In Pennsylvania, unlike other states, you don’t need to establish residency before actually submitting the divorce complaint. You file based on where you are currently living. For Lower Merion Township, that would be at Montco’s Courthouse.
If both you and your spouse agree to end the marriage, there is a 90-day waiting period after the filing. You and your spouse can decide property division, alimony, and child custody, and draft a Marital Settlement Agreement, which the court will make part of your final divorce decree.
If there is any disagreement at all over property, children, or even whether or not to divorce, the State recommends that you each have your own lawyer to protect your interests. A "contentious" or contested divorce will take much longer, cost more, and create serious stress. Your divorce attorney’s job is to negotiate when possible and fight for you when things get rough.
Getting Custody in Lower Merion
In Lower Merion Township, an estimated 18% of residents have children. In Pennsylvania, your children’s residency - where they’ve lived for the past six months - comes into play. When it comes to splitting up the children, Pennsylvania has both "legal custody" and "physical custody" issues that must be decided.
Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about how the child is raised, and major issues like getting medical care. Parents often share legal responsibility for a child even if one parent has the child living with him/her most of the time.
Physical custody can be divided up in many ways - children either shared equally, spend a majority of time with one parent, have supervised visitation with another parent, or have just ONE parent allowed to look after them. Pennsylvania strongly encourages co-parenting and equal relationships between both parents and the children, unless there is an unhealthy or dangerous factor involved.
Divorce & Custody Resources for Lower Merion Township
Montgomery County Courthouse
Court of Common Pleas
2 E. Airy St,
Norristown, PA 19404
Support Groups and Divorce Resources
School and Child Care
Lower Merion Family Law Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz
Not every marriage with an Appleford ceremony ends "happily ever after." Your Main Line prince or princess didn’t turn out to be "the one," but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of your love story. Sometimes, divorce is painful but necessary to make your life the way it should be.
At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., we handle all types of family law with compassion and thorough attention. Call toll-free (866) 290-9292 for a free consultation with an experienced Montgomery County divorce and child custody attorney.