Covid-19

E-Law

Erie E-Law is a complimentary service of the Erie County Bar Association designed to make basic legal information available to you with ease. You can gain access to E-Law either by reading the information found below or by contacting us to request a copy of the transcripts.

Separation of Married Couples

Family/Marital Law Matters

It is not unusual for a couple to physically separate during marital difficulties. However, there is no such thing as a legal separation in Pennsylvania. This means that the parties do not have to go to Court for an order authorizing or evidencing their desire to live in separate places. There is no legal requirement that a husband and wife be separated for a period of time to file for a divorce.

READ MORE

Same-Sex Relationships

Family/Marital Law Matters

As of May 20, 2014, same-sex couples have the right to marry in Pennsylvania. Also as of that date, Pennsylvania recognizes marriages between same-sex couples validly performed in other states that permit same-sex marriage. At least 18 other states have, by legislation or court case, established same-sex marriage. In other states, these same-sex marriage rights have been put on hold during appeals.

READ MORE

Marriage Counseling

Family/Marital Law Matters

Marriage counseling helps couples evaluate marital issues and assess marital strengths and weaknesses. Through marriage counseling, couples can clarify their concerns and make decisions whether to work toward reconciliation or to terminate an unsuccessful marriage.

READ MORE

How to Get a Custody Order in Erie County

Family/Marital Law Matters

When parents separate, they must determine the appropriate custody arrangements for their children. It is not essential that the parties immediately proceed through the Court system and, in fact, many parents establish custody arrangements for their children based upon informal agreements.

READ MORE

How to Get Married

Family/Marital Law Matters

The first step in getting married is to obtain a marriage license. Pennsylvania no longer recognizes common law marriage, except in very limited circumstances.

READ MORE

Divorce

Family/Marital Law Matters

In 1980, Pennsylvania joined the majority of states that allow No Fault Divorces in addition to Fault Ground Divorces found in earlier laws. In a No-Fault Divorce, when ninety (90) days have passed from serving the Divorce Complaint, and when both parties have signed consents to the divorce, and all economic issues have been resolved, a divorce can be granted without the need for a hearing. Even with a No Fault Divorce, either party may contest custody, support or property matters.

READ MORE

Custody

Family/Marital Law Matters

Once parents separate, they must consider an appropriate custody arrangement for their children. There is no legal requirement that they immediately proceed to Court. However, if the parties can arrive at a mutually agreeable arrangement, that agreement can be entered as a custody court order without the need for a hearing. If the parties together cannot decide what is the best for their children, then the Court can hold a hearing and enter a custody order.

READ MORE

Common Law Marriage

Family/Marital Law Matters

As of January 2, 2005, individuals were no longer able to enter into Common Law Marriages in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However, those Common Law Marriages entered into before this date remain valid. The following information pertains to such marriages.

READ MORE

Child Support

Family/Marital Law Matters

Both fathers and mothers have the responsibility to support their children. In determining the financial obligation of the parents to pay child support, the Court will review the earnings, earning capacity and the needs of each parent along with the needs of the child. The Court may also consider factors such as parent's physical disability, or if one parent is caring for young children at home, or has multiple families to support.

READ MORE

Annulments

Family/Marital Law Matters

There are two types of annulments - legal civil and religious. If you desire information regarding religious annulments, you should check with your churches' local representative. 

READ MORE