Bankruptcy Lawyer | Pittsburgh, PA | James E. Miscavage, Attorney | 412-653-5711

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Benefit from our experience and attention to detail in divorce and custody cases.




Divorce law has become much more complicated than when I began practicing law in 1984. For example, when someone goes in for any consultation in a divorce case, the issue of what is the date of separation is raised.

For equitable distribution purposes, the date for valuation of marital property is generally the date of trial or distribution, not the date of separation. However, the proper date for identifying marital property is the date of separation. In no event can the date of separation be later than the date the Complaint in Divorce was served. The Court will look to determine when a party first gave notice to the other party of their intent to proceed with a divorce. In Allegheny County, a case can be dragged out for two (2) years from the date of separation before you can proceed with equitable distribution. Outlying counties have different local rules and allow equitable distribution to proceed without waiting for two years from the date of separation. You can have the marital property equitably divided but still be married for two (2) years from the date of separation. Having an experienced attorney can be crucial to avoiding a long and ugly divorce.

For alimony, the date of separation can become a factor considered in awarding alimony and the amount awarded. Marital misconduct of either party during the marriage (i.e. prior to the date of separation) is one of the factors to be considered in awarding alimony. Conduct after the date of separation when it pertains to alimony is irrelevant. If you file for spousal support, it might also be relevant if marital misconduct is alleged to argue that you are not entitled to spousal support. If that argument was successful, it would force the party seeking support to file a divorce complaint to make it a request for alimony pendente lite. This can move the case more quickly through the system. Of course, a delay may be what what you want. Here again, having an experienced attorney is crucial.

We hope the above gives you a picture of how complex a simple matter can become. Given the complexity of the law now in this area, it is more important than ever to hire a professional who concentrates on divorce law.


I have done trials for divorce, equitable distribution, custody, and support in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties since 1984. It is important you get a fair award for support and not overpay or be underpaid. Any Order should be fair and properly calculated. It is important that any equitable distribution award is fair. You can and will be treated in a fair manner at all times when you have experienced counsel. Call my office for a FREE consultation today.

Keep your valuable assets protected

Everything looks rosy as you proceed with wedding preparations, but a little protection now can save you a lot down the line if something unthinkable occurs in your relationship. Take a little time to draw up a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle so you are protected in the unlikely event you have to use it.


  • Divorce
  • Equitable distribution
  • Support/alimony/alimony pendente lite
  • Separation agreements
  • Custody/partial custody/visitation
  • Protection from abuse matters
  • Pre-nuptial agreements
  • Bankruptcy issues in a divorce

Let our nearly 30 years of family law experience serve you. Call us today.


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