The process of ending a marriage and separating from your spouse is almost always mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and financially daunting. Seamus Lavin has assisted men and women through this process for almost 15 years. Our goal at Wetzel Gagliardi Fetter & Lavin LLC is to listen compassionately to the concerns expressed by our clients, to apply the facts as presented by our clients to the law as it stands in Pennsylvania, to present realistic options, and to focus our efforts on achieving excellent results as affordably and quickly as the situation allows. While our attorneys don’t shy away from a fight or back down from an aggressive spouse, we don’t believe in creating unnecessary conflicts in an already tense situation. In short, we’re as reasonable and amicable as our client’s spouse and his or her attorney will allow.
Our attorneys recognize that a marital estate has only so many assets and that the true value of our services is in ensuring that our clients keep as much of the marital estate as possible. We recognize that negotiation and mediation aren’t the solutions for every family and are therefore always prepared to advocate for our client’s rights and goals before a court or master. We’ll never back down from an unavoidable fight. We pride ourselves in guiding our clients to a resolution that makes them as whole as possible and one which they can look back upon with the satisfaction of knowing that they received a fair and honorable result.
Custody in Pennsylvania begins and ends with “the best interests of the child.” As such, when determining custody or partial custody in Pennsylvania, the courts take into account a number of factors that affect a child’s well-being. These include the physical, emotional, and financial health of each parent; the parents’ willingness to foster relationships and cooperate with one another; the prior involvement of each parent with the child; and the parenting competence of each individual. Pennsylvania law acknowledges the importance of both parents’ involvement with children and the importance of fostering a good relationship and ongoing contact with the non-custodial parent except in extreme cases of abuse or neglect. Pennsylvania law is supposed to be gender neutral, favoring neither the mother nor father.
Our family law attorneys will take the time to discuss your particular circumstances, understand you goals and concerns, and work together with you to educate the court regarding your children’s mental, physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Our goal is to present options that work for your children as long as possible in an effort to provide them and you with continuity and consistency.
Child and Spousal Support
Determining child support, spousal support, and alimony is often a contentious part of a divorce. Working with an experienced lawyer is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. Except in rare cases, child support amounts are determined by the Pennsylvania child support guidelines, There may be deviating factors, however, which can affect the payment amount. Our attorneys at Wetzel Gagliardi Fetter & Lavin LLC are knowledgeable regarding both these deviating factors as wells as the relevant defenses to such factors.
Spousal support may be awarded to one party while the couple is separated but before the divorce complaint has been filed. Alimony pendente lite (APL) may be granted after the divorce is filed. After the divorce is finalized and the assets have been divided, the court may award alimony for support and maintenance. Our attorneys will provide you with an understanding as to your rights and obligations under the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Act and assist you in developing strategies to address potential pitfalls.