Wayne, PA Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer
Complexities of Filing for Divorce in Wayne
Wayne, Pennsylvania is part of William Penn’s Welsh tract, chock-full of historical landmarks - Wayne Station, Louella, Ardrossan, St. David’s Church, and many more. Named for Revolutionary War general "Mad Anthony" Wayne and home to Villanova University, a healthy 41% of residents are married and only 6% divorced. 63% of households contain families.
Out of those families, 84% are manned by a husband and wife. The divorce rate in the United States dropped to a 40-year low in 2016, which is great news, but it doesn’t dispel the fact that there are more divorces and remarriages today than there were in colonial America.
If you have questions about filing for divorce in Wayne, read on.
Wayne is all over the place. This Main Line suburb may be centered in Delaware County, but it spreads across Chester County and Montgomery County as well. This can add some extra confusion if you’re thinking of filing for divorce.
Depending on where you live in Wayne, you will be filing your divorce complaint through a different county courthouse. Wayne’s 32,225 residents inhabit Radnor Township, Tredyffrin Township, and Upper Merion Township. Here’s a quick overview of the legal process for the three main areas:
Radnor Township: How to File in Delaware County
File your divorce action at the Office of Judicial Support at the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas and pay the Delaware County filing fee. Serve your spouse with a copy of the complaint, and prove that you did so.
Delaware County recommends that you use an attorney when filing for divorce.
Tredyffrin Township: How to File in Chester County
File your divorce action in the Office of the Prothonotory in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas and pay the Chester County filing fee. Four copies of the forms are recommended: an original for the courts, a copy for your records, and two copies to be served on your spouse.
Chester County strongly recommends that you have an attorney so that no mistakes or omissions are made.
Upper Merion Township: How to File in Montgomery County
File your divorce action at the Prothonotory’s office at the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas and pay the Montgomery County filing fee to the clerk. Serve your spouse with a copy of the divorce complaint, and file an affidavit to prove that you did so at the same office.
No matter where you file, make sure that you comply with all local courthouse rules in addition to Pennsylvania’s statewide rules.
Making Child Custody Decisions
It’s ideal to have a collaborative divorce. Even if you don’t like your former spouse, both of you love your children and should try to hammer out a custody agreement in an amicable fashion. If you don’t, the family courts will decide custody through litigation. This is a tense and emotional process, and in the end, complete strangers will be deciding when and how you see your children.
In Pennsylvania, family courts will consider the "best interests" of the child first and foremost, generally by:
- Assuring "…reasonable and continuing contact of the child with both parents," provided that both are fit parents.
- Avoiding disruption to child’s life (school, friends, etc.)
- Seeing which parent is more available. A flexible work schedule will be given preference.
- Listening to the reasonable preferences of the child.
- Watching for troublesome parental behavior, currently or in the past.
You should try to work things out before ending up on opposite sides of the courtroom. If you can’t, you’ll be required by the court to attend several mediation sessions, and possibly even have psychological evaluations as they determine which spouse serves the best interests of the children. You’ll be required to have a lawyer. Choose one well-versed in local rules for the best results.
Divorce Resources for Wayne
Delaware County’s Court of Common Pleas
Office of Judicial Support, Room 126
201 West Front St.
Media, PA 19063
Chester County’s Court of Common Pleas
Chester County Justice Center
201 W. Market Street, Suite 1425
West Chester, PA 19380
Montgomery County’s Court of Common Pleas
2 E. Airy St,
Norristown, PA 19404
Support Groups and Divorce Resources
School and Child Care
Speak to Wayne Child Custody Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz
In colonial days, Wayne’s orderly houses and communities were planned from the very beginning, when Wayne was still "Louella." Every woman thinks she’s landed the perfect marriage; every man thinks he’s found the perfect partner. But it’s not always so. Whether an honest mistake or a serious change in the dynamic between spouses, divorcing is better than living in a destructive relationship.
If you have questions for a Delaware County divorce attorney, please take the time to call us at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. We take on highly complex Wayne family law cases involving alimony, annulment, bankruptcy, child custody and support, mediation, asset division, and more. Call (610) 645-0100 for a free consultation.