As one of the first female private lawyers in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area to focus on domestic relations law, partner Lori K. Serratelli provides a depth of experience in divorce proceedings.
Cara Boyanowski has concentrated her practice in family law and is past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Dauphin County Bar Association. If you have been notified by your spouse that he or she wants a divorce, or if you want to initiate a divorce action, contact the attorneys at Serratelli, Schiffman & Brown, P.C. for advice.
Do I have grounds for divorce?
Do I qualify for support of any kind?
Should I leave the house?
What should I do about the bank accounts?
Answers to these commonly asked questions about divorce differ, depending on the complexity of the case. Counseling services are based on an in- depth understanding of the current situation as well as the history of the marriage. The initial consultation addresses such specifics as employment history, debts, assets, grounds for divorce and whether or not there are children involved.
There are generally two types of divorce: fault and no fault. No-fault divorces involve either a 90-day waiting period and written consent to the divorce thereafter, or a two-year separation.
A fault divorce requires the plaintiff to be innocent and injured, while the defendant must be guilty of marital misconduct. Fault divorces are filed much less frequently.
Depending on the complexity of the case, the divorce process involving marital property distribution usually takes up to 12 months, but can take as long as two or three years through the Court of Common Pleas. Appeals to reverse the decision can increase that time even more.
Services also include representation through divorce, assistance in getting spousal support for "dependent spouses," and representation in matters such as:
Family Law Overview
At Serratelli, Schiffman & Brown P.C.. our goal is to help families and individuals meet their objectives and solve their legal issues through efficient, compassionate and aggressive representation. For nearly thirty years, our lawyers have provided family law expertise to satisfied clients throughout Harrisburg and across Central Pennsylvania. Our family law practice encompasses the following areas:
Our attorneys help you through every aspect of your marital dissolutions as painlessly and quickly as possible. We are sensitive to your family’s needs throughout the divorce process, and we aggressively work to protect you and fight for your interests. Read more about Divorce.
Often the most critical part of a divorce proceeding, our attorneys have experience helping families quickly come to resolution in this highly sensitive matter. Each parent or relative we represent can rely on our expertise in custody matters.
In general, child/spousal support is based upon the incomes of both parents, which parent has custody, and how much time the non-custodial parent has with the child/children. As this tends to be an issue of primary importance, our family law attorneys can help you sort through your legal and personal requirements.
Partner Lori K. Serratelli and associate Cara A. Boyanowski provide a depth of experience in all issues related to divorce, including child support, custody and visitation as well as protection from abuse.
If you have a family law question or concern, contact us at 717-540-9170 or 800-294-2889.
How can I retain or secure custody of my children?
What can I do to improve my chances of being awarded primary custody?
Am I entitled to spousal or child support?
At Serratelli, Schiffman & Brown P.C., we strive to help clients understand what custody actions to take, based on their particular situation. Our clients include mothers as well as fathers, and in some instances, grandparents.
During our initial consultation, we address such things as:
Although a judge will ultimately decide who should have primary custody, we help clients to understand what the right actions are from the start. A parent who is granted custody of minor or unemancipated children is eligible for child support.
How can I get the abuser out of the house?
Do I qualify for financial support?
Should I stay in my house?
We understand the urgency involved in domestic relations matters that pertain to physical abuse. It is our practice to return these types of calls immediately. We assist clients in getting the appropriate protection from the abuser.
Pennsylvania divorce and family law lawyer Lori K. Serratelli has handled all levels of the judicial system, including complex matters before the state Superior and Supreme Courts.
With an ongoing involvement in domestic relations issues, she maintains a current understanding of changes in statutes at all times.
Ms. Serratelli lectures on family law issues to various groups throughout the region. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Dauphin County Bar Association.
Cara Boyanowski has concentrated her practice in family law for 18 years and is past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Dauphin County Bar Association. She also lectures on family law issues, and has practiced in several Common Pleas Courts in the region and the Pennsylvania Superior Court. She has recently been appointed to the DCBA Family Law Section council.