At Morton Family Law, LLC, family law is our only focus. By narrowing our practice to a single area, we are able to concentrate on developing the best judicial and alternative means to handle your family law matter expeditiously. With more than 30 years of experience, Kim Morton is dedicated to finding the most balanced resolution to your case and is committed to caring for your needs as well as those of your children.
Our firm’s aim is to resolve divorce matters fairly while protecting our clients’ goals and parental rights. When appropriate and possible, we mediate your divorce to minimize a court’s interference in your future. But if mediation and negotiation do not work in your situation, we litigate to protect your rights. We are flexible in our approach, which enables us to choose the best course of action in numerous areas of focus:
Mediation — If the parties are able, mediation is a particularly advantageous way of getting a divorce. Through mediation, clients retain more control of their future and play a greater role in developing a plan. Additionally, following divorce, cooperation between the former husband and wife is often required. The mediation process helps former couples establish a new set of ground rules and facilitates post-marriage communication.
Divorce — Pennsylvania provides two processes for divorce: fault-based and no-fault. While fault-based divorce is the traditional form, many Pennsylvanians prefer no-fault divorce because it does not require a couple to disclose intimate marital information in a public courtroom. Our experienced West Chester divorce attorney at Morton Family Law can further explain the differences and help you choose the type of divorce best suited to your situation.
Alimony and spousal support — Many Pennsylvanians are unclear about spousal support payments because Pennsylvania has three types of support: spousal support, alimony and alimony pendente lite (APL). Spousal support typically refers to support payments made after the divorce filing but before the divorce is granted. Alimony consists of payments made following the approval of the divorce. Finally, APL can be awarded during the divorce proceedings to ensure that parties have adequate resources to represent their interests.
Property division — Many Pennsylvanians wrongly believe that property division in Pennsylvania will follow a 50/50 split because Pennsylvania is a community property state. The truth is that separate and marital property is distributed according to equitable division. Equitable division does not require an equal split, but it does require a fair distribution. Also, prenuptial agreements can significantly impact the distribution of property in a divorce.
Child custody & support — Child custody & child support are often emotional and contentious parts of a divorce because each parent typically wants to be the best parent possible by guiding, supporhting and spending time with his or her child or children. The courts now recognize that each parent has important contributions to be made to the children. So, in most cases, parents need to work together to develop a parenting plan for shared legal custody.
Visitation — Parents who don’t have physical custody have a right to spend time with their child. In high-conflict divorces, a fixed parenting schedule can help set expectations and avoid additional disagreements when it comes to visitation arrangements.
Separation —While many clients ask about legal separation, Pennsylvania does not recognize it. However, the date of separation can be important in matters such as identifying property as separate or marital when going through a divorce.
Modifications — Unfortunately, divorces are rarely settled when the final order is issued. When the circumstances of each spouse change, it is reasonable to expect the divorce agreements to change as well. However, one spouse cannot unilaterally decide to change support or custody agreements: Civil or criminal penalties could result. The court must approve modifications to parenting or support agreements, an area with which we can help you.
Since families are our only focus, our West Chester family law firm can handle every aspect of your divorce. We work with you each step of the way to inform you and reduce your apprehension about the process.
At Morton Family Law, LLC, we are dedicated to ensuring you understand the divorce process and know what to expect during each step. Please call us at 888-698-1787 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.