Bucks County is one of the most populated counties in Pennsylvania, supporting a population of over 600,000 residents. Bucks County's Court of Common Pleas is the highest state court in the County and handles all matters of law. Matters of Family Law, including spousal and child support orders, are handled in the court's division of Domestic Relations.
What To Expect In Court
Support proceedings in Bucks County follow the court's outset procedures. Divorce, along with its related support procedures all follow a multi-step process. Support orders will have conferences held in order to make attempts resolve the situation before moving onward to the courtroom.
A divorce decree merely ends the marriage. There must also be separate filings for all forms of support, including alimony and child support. These filings can be consolidated into divorce proceedings, as well. Most of the time, these issues must undergo a discussions phase before they can truly be resolved. A good majority of the actual negotiations of divorce for child and spousal support, along with property division will be held at a court conference. In matters of child support, sometimes paternity must be established before the case can move forward to discuss support. Pennsylvania courts offer paternity testing resources to families who have a child whose biological father is in dispute.
The support conference will be overseen by a court-appointed Master, who will attempt to mediate the situation and allow both parties to express their concerns. Masters will specialize in whatever type of support is being discussed, be it spousal or child support. Conferences may allow attorneys to be present and actively participate on behalf of their clients, depending on the circumstances. An attorney can also provide coaching prior to the conference, as well. If the case cannot be settled at this phase of the process, then the matter will proceed to a full hearing with a judge.
If the case proceeds to a hearing, it will be assigned a date and time for review by a judge. At hearings, you will be represented and accompanied by your counsel. It is of utmost importance that you attend your hearing on time, as failure to do so can result in charges of contempt of court. On top of this, if only one side is present, the judge will only hear one side of the argument and make a decision based upon only what was presented. The judge will also direct any parties with matters of contempt, such as violations of support orders, to the prosecutor.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania Support Attorney
If you or a loved one is involved in matters of Family Law in Bucks County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.