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Carla Schiff Donnelly

Carla Donnelly’s Answers

6 total

  • Is It okay to not sign divorce papers until spouse finds fulltime employment with medical benefits?

    Wife has filed for divorce in Pa. She works part time. I don't want to sign until she gets fulltime employment with medical benefits. She has a bs in accounting and over 15 years of experience. Strategy is to reduce alimony.

    Carla’s Answer

    I am not sure what you are being asked to sign. If your spouse files for alimony pendent lite (support while divorce is pending) you will likely be paying a higher amount. If paying your spouse is the concern it may be more advantageous to consent to the divorce and shorten the waiting period. You may want to consult with an attorney to gather more particular information. You can always argue that they have a high capacity to earn based on education and experience.

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  • What kind of rights are there

    Daughter is 11 and bio dad is an illegal immigrant who has an alcohol issue, doesn't speak English, no driver's license and a criminal record. She hates visiting with him and after 2 years of forcing her to see him (about 2 hours one night each we...

    Carla’s Answer

    This is a complex situation. Your choice is to agree to Father's requests or subject yourself to a potential lawsuit. Your guiding principle should be the best interests of your daughter. If you feel their requests are harmful to your daughter then you may want the court to decide how much and when the child will see her father and under what circumstances. Best of luck.

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  • If I have sole legal and physical custody of my child do I have to notify of my moving to a different county?

    I am moving to a different county, I have some legal and physical custody. The other parent he had no interaction with the child in the past 3 years.

    Carla’s Answer

    According to the Pennsylvania relocation statute, "A party proposing to change the residence of a child which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights must notify every other person who has custodial rights to the child and provide a counter-affidavit by which a person may agree or object." Rule 1915.17. Relocation. Notice and Counter-Affidavit.

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  • Child custody petition.

    I am a grandparent who is filing for custody of our grand daughter. Just visitation that's all. Our daughter has some mental issues and every so many months she cuts off her entire family and this is not healthy for our granddaughter who is with...

    Carla’s Answer

    You may want to contact your local sheriff's office to see whether, for a small fee, they will serve the papers on your behalf. You can try sending by certified mail, return receipt requested but if they do not sign the card, and accept the mail, that method will fail.

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  • If someone refuses to sign a divorce agreement, when/how will the divorce become official?

    My spouse has been served a divorce settlement and is refusing to sign. She claims she'll wait the two years deemed mandatory in PA and won't sign until it's absolutely necessary.

    Carla’s Answer

    In Pennsylvania there is a two-year waiting period before you can move your case forward to equitable distribution unless both parties consent to the divorce. She likely will not sign because she is currently collecting a favorable amount of support and has no incentive to sign the papers. If moving quickly is important to you, you may want to discuss with your attorney ways of providing incentives to entice your spouse to sign more quickly.

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  • Can I change lawyers before a divorce is final?

    My spouse left me for a 3rd party, came back & left 4 more times, returning to the same person. I don't feel they should be awarded anything for their divorce settlement for cheating & refusing to go to counciling. I am being ordered to pay a lump...

    Carla’s Answer

    Yes, you can change attorneys at any point in your case as long as you can find another attorney to represent you. You can also proceed without an attorney if that is your choice. Note that switching attorneys often involves an added cost as the new attorney has to take additional time to get up to speed. With regard to the other facts you mention, 23 Pa.C.S.A. §. 3502 lists the factors for equitable distribution, which you may find helpful.

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