Clair M. Stewart - Experienced Philadelphia Divorce Attorney

Copyright 2009 Clair M. Stewart:  Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney. All Rights Reserved
100 S. Broad St. #1523, Philadelphia, PA 19110 Phone: 215-564-5150  Fax: 215-405-8055
Clair M. Stewart
Attorney at Law
Family Law is complex and each situation has its unique considerations.  Practiced Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Clair M. Stewart outlines some specifics regarding common Family Law topics.

Divorce

In Pennsylvania, you can obtain a divorce quickly with the consent of both parties or if you have been separated two (2) years or more.  At times, a divorce can fall outside of those parameters and be emotional and stressful and involve many issues including child custody, child and spousal support, alimony, and property division.  The law firm of Clair M. Stewart, Attorney at Law has represented many couples in their divorce matters and we can also work with you in your divorce, the preparation of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial property settlement agreements, petitions and modifications for child support and child custody/visitation.  Contact our office for more information.


or rent), provision of medical insurance, food, gas, clothing and electric bills or monies to help fund divorce litigation like filing fees, costs and related expenses. Alimony can be required before or after the actual divorce is finalized. Because of the complex laws that vary from state to state, it is essential that you contact a knowledgeable Philadelphia spousal support attorney, such as Clair M. Stewart, to advise you in these matters.

At the law office of Clair M. Stewart, Attorney of Law we have been offering honest and aggressive advocacy for clients seeking financial support from their spouses or ex-spouses and defending spouses who are ordered to pay support to ensure that the amount is fair and appropriate.

Child Custody

Our firm is experienced in helping parents in their custody and visitation cases and finding solutions that are truly in the best interests of their children.  During and after your separation, divorce or break-up, your primary concern is likely to be for the welfare of your children.  The family courts encourage parents to work out an agreement regarding custody and visitation through effective negotiations or mediation. We know it is always better for a parent to come up with a solution than a judge. Factors considered in custody disputes include: 1) the location of each parent's home; 2) the role of each parent as caregiver in the past; 3) schools; 4) finances; and for older children, 5) the preferences of the child.  There are many social and economic factors that the courts will consider in making a custody order.   We will serve your needs by reviewing and weighing the importance of each factor in your case. Often we are able to help you design a plan that is reasonable and agreeable to both parties. If it is necessary to protect your relationship with your child, we are experienced and well-prepared to go to court to defend your parental rights. Not only will we defend your rights in custody cases, but also in child support matters. We will explain how support law works through the use of established formulae and also the exceptions which may be considered by the court. 

Child Support

For the vast majority of individuals in Pennsylvania, child support is determined by the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines.  These guidelines provide a basic child support figure using a formula based on total income of each parent and number of children. Each parent's obligation is a percentage based on income; however, support paid by high income individuals involves a much more complicated process. Support modifications also become necessary as each parents' financial circumstances change.

Because Pennsylvania is generally an income-based support calculation state, significant changes in a parent's income can require modification of a child or spousal support order.   Clair M. Stewart is an experienced support and custody attorney.  She will help clients understand what type of situations call for a modification of custody or support, and help them negotiate and properly file for changes.

It is important to know that parents do not need to continue making support payments for an child over the age of 18.  Their payments have legally concluded and their payments are treated as a voluntary gift if the payor fails to request a change. In the case of an emancipated child, support does not automatically cease. A parent must initiate a modification of support by filing a petition to terminate the support order.

To learn more about child support, custody arrangements or other family law matters, contact meat 215-564-5150.





Spousal Support

Spousal support, alimony, APL (alimony pendente lite) or maintenance is a sum of money ordered by the court. This support payment can be for either a reasonable living allowance to pay for living expenses (mortgage payments