Villanova Divorce and Child Custody Attorneys
No One Expects Divorce
St. Thomas of Villanova Church hosts around 70 weddings each year. Though you have to be a Villanova graduate or church member to get married in this beautiful parish, love is "in the air" around Villanova.
Around 38% of Villanova’s 8,700 residents are married, and only 2% are divorced. Since the median age of residents is 21, that’s a good statistic. Many who attend Villanova University do find their future spouses at the school, though no one keeps track of how many relationships began in dormitory halls.
St. Thomas of Villanova Parish requires pre-marital counseling before allowing couples to legally marry. But not everyone in Villanova was married in a Catholic church, and even those who were sometimes need to consider ending that relationship.
Divorce can be confusing, painful, humbling, and rarely the first recourse. But it can be infinitely better than a toxic marriage.
Is Divorcing in Villanova More Complicated?
In a Catholic community, the subject of divorce is a serious matter. Pennsylvania has at-fault divorce for irreparable marriages involving adultery, cruelty, bigamy, criminal conviction, abandonment, tormenting an innocent spouse, or insanity.
There is an extra factor to consider. Villanova is a community split by two townships, and two counties. Lower Merion Township, which is in Montgomery County, comprises the northeast portion. Radnor Township of Delaware County holds the rest. Because of this division, if you and your soon-to-be-ex live in Villanova, you file through either Montgomery County Court or Delaware County Court, depending on your street address.
How to File in Montgomery County
Fill out all required forms in your Pennsylvania divorce complaint. Check for any Montgomery County-specific forms that may also need to be filed, such as the Motion for Appointment of a Master in Divorce (or the exception packet). Divorce cases are filed at the Prothonotory’s office at the Montgomery County Courthouse. File your requests for custody, alimony, and any others at or around the same time. Pay the Montgomery County-specific 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. In the upcoming case, you must comply with all Montgomery County’s local rules in addition to Pennsylvania’s.
How to File in Delaware County
Fill out your Pennsylvania divorce complaint, with all the required forms. Check for any Delaware County-specific local rules or forms. Divorce pleadings are filed at the Office of Judicial Support at the Delaware County Courthouse, along with requests for custody, alimony, and any others you seek. Pay the Delaware County-specific filing fee to the clerk.
Next, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the divorce complaint, and file an affidavit to prove that you did so. In the upcoming case, you must comply with all Delaware County’s local rules in addition to Pennsylvania’s.
Delaware County recommends that you have a lawyer.
How Is Child Custody Decided?
Children are the most precious part of any relationship. Going through divorce is tough on the whole family and special care should be taken to ensure children aren’t emotionally harmed in the process.
Every family court in Pennsylvania attempts to find a custody arrangement that is in the children’s best interest. If you and your spouse can work together to make a custody and visitation agreement, the court will likely approve it and finalize as part of your divorce decree.
However, if you and your spouse cannot agree, the family court will step in. Psychological testing is often ordered, and the court will look at all physical, moral, emotional, and historical factors in deciding who is awarded primary custody. Pennsylvania prefers both parents to have input in major decision-making, assuming the non-custodial parent is fit.
Grandparents also have a right to their grandchildren, and may petition for custody or visitation if the child has previously lived with them for 12 months or more. An experienced Villanova family law attorney can explain the sometimes complicated details of Villanova child custody.
Divorce Resources for Villanova
Montgomery County Courthouse
Court of Common Pleas
2 E. Airy St,
Norristown, PA 19404
Delaware County’s Court of Common Pleas
Office of Judicial Support, Room 126
201 West Front St.
Media, PA 19063
Support Groups and Divorce Resources
School and Day Care
Villanova Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz
Whether your relationship began under the Corr Hall Arch or not, divorce in Villanova can be trying.
You need support, compassion, and an advocate to guide you through this difficult time. Lawyer Sheryl R. Rentz specializes in family law, helping clients navigate high-asset divorce and child custody.
The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., handle all types of domestic issues, including alimony, annulment, bankruptcy, child custody and support, mediation, asset division, and more. Call (610) 645-0100 for a free consultation with an experienced Montgomery County divorce attorney.