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Who pays for a divorce in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Divorce |

Divorce can be a complex and costly process. In Pennsylvania, understanding who pays for the divorce can help manage expectations and prepare for the financial implications of it.

Filing fees and court costs

Typically, the spouse who files for divorce (the plaintiff) pays the initial filing fees. These fees cover the costs of opening the case with the court. If the other spouse (the defendant) files any counterclaims, they may also incur filing fees.

Attorney fees

Each spouse usually pays their attorney fees. However, Pennsylvania law allows for one spouse to request the court to order the other spouse to pay their legal fees. The court considers factors such as the income and financial resources of both parties when making this decision.

Division of marital assets

Pennsylvania follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means the court divides marital assets and debts fairly, though not necessarily equally. This division can include the costs associated with the divorce, such as legal fees and court costs. The court aims to distribute these expenses in a way that is fair to both parties.

Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Opting for mediation or alternative dispute resolution can reduce the overall costs of a divorce. Both spouses typically share these costs, making it a more affordable option compared to a lengthy court battle.

Financial planning for divorce

Being aware of potential expenses and seeking cost-effective solutions can help manage the financial impact of divorce. Proper planning and understanding of the process can ease the financial burden during this challenging time.