Deborah Zitomer Esquire, LLC
Advocating for Families In Norristown and Montgomery County Since 1990

Norristown Family Law Blog

Equitable Distribution During A Pennsylvania Divorce

When imagining divorce, many people assume that the spouses split everything equally, 50/50. However, in Pennsylvania, this is not the case. Pennsylvania recognizes equitable distribution, which gives the courts the power to distribute the assets and property of a marriage as they see fit.

How Does The Court Determine Equitable Distribution?

Divorce With Dignity

A divorce can be a trying time for you and your former spouse. It's already a sad and hurtful time, but it's even worse considering that during divorce hearings, information may come to light that is difficult to hear. However, it's important to remain mature, civil, and respectful. According to psychologist Susan Quilliam, "Dignity is our best friend in a crisis because it reminds us that, although we may be at the mercy of uncertain circumstances, we can at least be in control of ourselves." Consider these tips to help navigate through your divorce with dignity.

Determining Paternity During Your Divorce

Paternity is probably the most important aspect of your divorce, more so than alimony. Paternity can impact many things, and will significantly affect your life once the divorce has been finalized. What do you need to know about paternity in Pennsylvania?

  • Paternity Involves Legal Determination of The Father - It is possible for a child's biological father to be different than his court-defined "legal" father. Paternity determines the child's legal father. If parents are married to one another when the child is born, paternity is established automatically. If the parents are not married when the child is born, the father will not have any rights to the child until paternity is established. The father's name will also not be on the child's birth certificate until paternity is established.

Prepare yourself to ask your spouse for a divorce

It's a feeling no one wants to face, but it's something that could come into your life at some point. Asking for a divorce is never fun, but it may be a conversation you need to have one day.

Even if you know that you need to move on from your marriage, asking for a divorce can be stressful for many reasons. Fortunately, when you take the right approach to preparing yourself, everything will fall into place.

We Can Help With LGBT Custody & Divorce Issues

While America has made some mistakes in the past, the march of social progress-however much it may slow down at some points-will always continue to move forward. Zitomer Law is proud and honored to be a legal practice with a family law focus on every kind of family and legal union, including LGBT marriages. But this means we also understand that with something as relatively new to the legal scene as the recent recognition of LGBT unions, there may still be some uncertainty and confusion of the legal options when things go wrong.

Make Sure Your Pre-Nuptial Agreement Has Legal Conditions

One of the great misconceptions of the pre-nuptial agreement is that, as a legally binding contract, once everything has been signed "on the dotted line," this means that the document can no longer be questioned or contested. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. While a pre-nup is indeed designed to lock down certain things, and a provide some structure and certainty in the event of a divorce, that doesn't mean that it can't be contested.

And one of the things that, in a divorce case, a pre-nup can be easily challenged on is when the conditions in the pre-nup actually violate the law.

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement Isn't Iron Clad

One of the things that many divorce lawyers will tell you is the importance of having a prenuptial agreement in place and signed by both partners. We'd love to believe that a marriage, once begun, really will last "till death do us part," but statistically, it's already a well-known fact that not every marriage comes to an end this way, and a significant number are resolved through a divorce.

When that divorce occurs, a pre-nuptial agreement can often mean the difference between a relatively straightforward, "bloodless" separation, and a bitter fight, tooth and nail, over significant pieces of property. However, even with a pre-nuptial agreement drafted, signed and entered into records as a legally binding document, there are still times when that agreement can be challenged and considered invalid. But when and why?

Same-sex marriage: What are the advantages?

For more than two years now, everyone in the United States benefits from the right to enter into a same-sex marriage partnership. While getting married may not suit everyone -- and some may not be ready to do that with their current partners -- there are some genuine benefits to marriage for gay couples.

Let's examine these benefits in depth so you and your partner can decide whether a same-sex partnership might be right for you.

Divorce & Adopted Children

For many children, a divorce often becomes a traumatic signpost of youth. However, for children who are adopted, especially if they weren't adopted as infants, this effect can be magnified, and it can become a much more difficult, formative experience, especially if there are disagreements about child custody that result in a legal battle.

Children Still Come First

More than ever, the idea of putting a child or children first in a divorce situation is all the more important when it comes to adopted children, especially older ones. After all, in a successful adoption, you have spent months-perhaps even years-preparing the arguments and qualifications that are supposed to prove that not only do you have the financial resources required to raise a child, but the proper emotional and family stability that is required to give a child a safe environment, both physically and psychologically in which to develop.

What should I consider when making a parenting plan?

You will have so many options available for planning your child custody arrangements that it may be difficult to land on the perfect plan for you and your family. You'll also need to balance your own wants and wishes, with those of your ex, and the best interests of your children.

It could help to have a checklist to consider when making your parenting plan.


Deborah Zitomer Esquire, LLC
11 E. Airy Street
Norristown, PA 19401

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