Retaining the family home was a divorce priority, and after all the dust settles, it is yours. Now what? You must do the paperwork and make the necessary financial arrangements to make this a reality. 

How Does the Paperwork Work? 

If both spouses own the house, one can transfer their interest to the other through a quitclaim deed, but it comes “under and subject” to existing encumbrances and liens.  Most home purchases are subject to a promissory note payable to the lender providing the mortgage. The promissory note creates the obligation to repay the loan you used to buy your home. The mortgage makes the home security or collateral for the loan. 

The promissory note is considered a “joint and several obligation,” so the borrowers agree the lender may pursue either or both spouses if the repayments are not current.  Unless this issue is addressed, if your spouse signs over their interest in the house but the promissory note is still in effect, they may be liable for mortgage payments for a home for which they have no ownership interest. 

Typically, a property settlement agreement states the spouse with the house will “indemnify and hold the other spouse harmless” from the promissory note’s obligations. But, the lender is not bound by or a party to the agreement. If the lender seeks money from your ex, they could sue you for breach of the divorce agreement because you agreed to indemnify them. But if you lack the money to pay the mortgage, you probably lack the resources. 

How Will Refinancing the Mortgage Help? 

One way to prevent this from happening is to refinance the house. It ends the mortgage you and your ex signed and substitutes a new one in your name. The promissory note used to buy the house is canceled, and the mortgage is officially satisfied. You get a clear title, a loan to pay what is left, and a promissory note and mortgage in your name. 

 If you cannot make the payments, your ex is not responsible because the old promissory note is no longer an issue, and the current one only applies to you. 

However, refinancing may be difficult if you lack a good credit history and a regular income. Each lender has its own rules covering to whom they will lend and the amount. This can vary also with the type of loan. An FHA mortgage will probably have lower lending standards but will cost more than a non-FHA loan.   

If you have not started already, work with a mortgage lender or broker even if the divorce settlement is not final.  Establish child and spousal support payment histories so the lender will view them as income sources to help pay the debt. Try to improve your credit score so it is at a level a mortgage underwriter will want to see. It is much better to prevent the problem of being turned down for a refinance than to deal with it afterward. 

Get the Help You Need from an Attorney You Can Trust   

Whether you are thinking about divorce or you have decided it is the right step for you and your family, call Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., at (215) 608-1867. You can start a new chapter in your life, including owning a home yourself. We can discuss this over the phone, via a teleconference, or meet in our Doylestown or Langhorne office.   

Obtaining your final divorce order signed by a judge is a big moment, but there is still more to do. You will need to deal with several issues to finally put the process behind you. There are many pieces of “clean-up” to take care of before you can wash your hands of the matter. 

What Dates Do I Need to Worry About? 

Your divorce judgment requires you to take several actions and meet specific deadlines. You may need to:  

  • Sell or refinance your home 
  • Transfer car titles and property deeds 
  • Divide bank, investment, and retirement savings accounts 
  • Get or give back personal property 

Take another look at your divorce agreement and order. What actions must you and your ex perform, and what deadlines or time frames are spelled out? Create a checklist of what you and your spouse must do and when. You will be better prepared to get things done on time and be aware of what your ex may be failing to do. 

What Happens if Deadlines Are Missed? 

Missing a deadline may cost you legal remedies to which you otherwise are entitled. You do not want to be in front of the judge again, explaining how disorganized you are or, worse, stating why you should not be held in contempt of a court order. 

Your ex probably has deadlines, too. We can discuss them and what might happen if one or both of you fail to meet them. For example, your spouse may have a given time frame to retrieve personal property from the former marital home. If they do not, the order may allow you to keep, throw away, or sell the items. 

Other issues are more serious. An ex-spouse could be held in contempt for failing to comply with the court order’s terms. The other party could ask the court to enforce the judgment. If found in contempt, an ex would be ordered to comply, may need to pay a fine, and, if the situation is severe enough, spend time in jail. 

What Is the Right Response to Missed Deadlines? 

Both parties should prioritize compliance, and there must be good faith efforts to comply. But sometimes stuff happens, and someone becomes ill, bureaucracies are not responsive, there are issues at work, elderly parents may need help, and deadlines are missed.  

No matter which party is not getting things done, the issue is often whether someone is genuinely trying to get everything done on time or there is a conscious effort to refuse to do things or delay getting them done. If the process is dragging on or a party is hostile, it may be time to get the court involved. 

Get the Help You Need From an Attorney You Can Trust   

If you are considering getting divorced, have decided it is the right step, or are facing challenges after your divorce was finalized, call us at (215) 608-1867. We can discuss your questions and what is going on over the phone, via a teleconference, or meet in our Doylestown or Langhorne office.   

If you are divorcing, you need the support and understanding of friends and family to help you through the process. What you do not need is bad advice that, if followed, can harm your interests and increase the cost and complexity of the process. 

If you talk to someone about your divorce and the issues that come with it, you could get a variety of reactions. The other person may want to change the subject. They may have been divorced in the past and provide you with helpful insight.  

They could also be well-meaning but give you misinformation or inappropriate suggestions based on what they have read on social media or the supposed experiences of their friends and family members. You need to filter out the wheat from the chaff. 

Bad divorce advice:  

Over the years, clients have told us plenty of incorrect, illegal, and just plain whacky ideas they have heard. Here are a few that are worth avoiding: 

  1. You Should Lie to Get the Best Divorce Possible 

It could be making up abuse by a spouse, hiding assets, distorting important conversations with your spouse, or claiming you do not remember something that you clearly do. Chances are this will poison whatever goodwill is left with your spouse. The case will head to litigation, not a settlement, and your duplicity will probably be exposed. 

You may have been in a good position to reach your goals, but your dishonesty may effectively set your case on fire. Judges have enough to deal with and do not have patience for liars. Neither do we. We have enough honest clients to serve. We do not want to work with dishonest ones. It is not worth the grief. 

  1. You Should Save Money and Represent Yourself 

Representing yourself may be a good idea in limited circumstances. If the two of you are childless, have low incomes and few assets, and want the relationship to end, then representing yourself is worth considering.  

However, while you may think you are saving money by representing yourself rather than hiring an attorney, more than likely it will cost you in the long run.  The legal process can be complicated and you could waive rights, trust your ex a bit too much, or not take care of details causing you headaches and significant issues in the future.  

You may qualify for help from legal aid organizations, depending on your circumstances. You may also receive financing to help pay for our services. 

Anyone thinking about a divorce should at least talk to an attorney. When we talk to prospective clients, we often spot issues they did not know about or thought were unimportant. If an attorney is not protecting your rights and interests, you may end up with a divorce that is not in your best interest. It may cost you far more in the long term than what you saved in legal bills. We can help you keep your costs down. 

  1. Spend Money While You Can 

Going on shopping sprees, enjoying an expensive vacation, or showering friends and family with gifts sounds like great fun, but it is not a good idea if you are getting divorced. It comes with equitable or fair asset and debt distribution. There will be a formal moment when you and your spouse decide to divorce. Once you establish that point, you will be responsible for your spending.  

By spending money owned by the two of you, you will end up with less when all is said and done. That wasted money will be subtracted from what you may have received. It will not come out of your spouse’s pocket. You also risk being cut off from funds if your spouse asks a court to freeze assets you might abuse, and you, not the two of you, may end up with your credit card bill. 

Get the Help You Need from an Attorney You Can Trust  

If you are considering getting divorced or have decided it is right for you, call us at (215) 608-1867 or schedule a consultation online now. We can discuss your situation over the phone, via a teleconference, or meet in our Langhorne or Doylestown office. 

Bucks County and Central New Jersey have large immigrant communities, so it is not unusual for another country’s laws to impact the divorce of someone living here. No matter where the parties are or whose laws are used, the more reasonable and cooperative the spouses are, the easier the process.  

If you believe your spouse may file for divorce and/or child custody in another country, it is critical that we speak immediately to protect your rights as soon as possible. In the meantime, it is best to gather all of your IDs (and those of your children) and place them somewhere for safekeeping. Do not allow your spouse to take your children out of the country. 

What is an International Divorce? 

Another country’s laws may apply to a divorce, depending on the circumstances. When this happens, it is considered an international divorce. International divorces involve spouses married in another country or one or both of them: 

  • Live in another country 
  • Own property in another country 
  • Are another country’s citizens 

If you think you fall into this situation, contact our office immediately. International divorces can be like a complex machine. You do not want to get caught up in the gears, and what you do and when may impact the outcome. 

Why File for Divorce in One Country and Not the Other? 

Part of a country’s culture is its view of marriage, parenthood, and the equality (or lack thereof) between the sexes. That affects their laws. A country may provide less legal protection and rights to a wife than a husband when they divorce.  

Someone may file for divorce in their home country, not the US because they think the laws there are tilted in their favor. They believe it will be easier to get what they want through a trial or they believe the foreign country’s laws will give them negotiation leverage. 

Who Has Jurisdiction? 

The courts of more than one country may claim jurisdiction or the ability to decide the matter. Each country has its own laws and court processes. Every divorce issue can be impacted, whether that is child custody, child support, alimony, or division of assets and debts. 

One factor is where the initial filing was made. But it is not just a race to the courthouse. To have jurisdiction, the country where papers are filed must meet two requirements: 

  • It must recognize your marriage exists. In the US, most marriages that are legally entered into in another country are recognized. That is not always true in other countries, especially if a spouse wants a divorce in their same-sex marriage.  
  • The party filing the divorce must satisfy the country’s residency requirements. For example, if you do not live, and never have lived, in France, filing for a divorce in France would be a waste of time.

A “dual filing” occurs when one spouse files in the US and the other files in another country. US courts will consider several issues when they decide if they have jurisdiction: 

  • Where is the property at issue?  
  • Does the foreign court have a greater interest in the divorce? If so, what is it? 
  • Does at least one spouse live in the state where the divorce was filed? 
  • If it is a fault-based divorce or if evidence is needed in the case, which jurisdiction is where more evidence is located?  
  • Will the spouse living in the US face considerable hardships if forced to participate in the foreign jurisdiction? 

International divorces can involve complex issues, and judges may be forced to make difficult decisions.  

Jurisdiction is Only the Beginning 

No matter where proceedings occur, jurisdiction only allows a court to make decisions. What is left are the other issues in dispute. After the divorce is finally adjudicated, there are other potential problems when a party tries to enforce a divorce order from one country in another country. 

Get the Help You Need from an Attorney You Can Trust  

If an international divorce might be in your future, call us at (215) 608-1867 or schedule a consultation online now. You do not have time to waste, and you must make informed decisions to get the best outcome. We can discuss your situation over the phone, via a teleconference, or meet in our Langhorne or Doylestown office.  

Ending a marriage can be emotionally devastating, leaving individuals grappling with a range of complex feelings. Divorce can trigger a rollercoaster of what may be overwhelming emotions. If you are in an abusive relationship, divorce may result in feelings of relief and happiness. On the other hand, the abrupt change in life circumstances and the end of what you once thought would be a life-long relationship can lead to a profound sense of loss. You may experience grief, anger, guilt, sadness, and fear. 

A sense of rejection and failure can contribute to damaged self-esteem. You may find yourself questioning your worth and struggling to redefine your identity outside your marriage. This emotional turmoil can extend to various aspects of life, seeping into your personal and professional lives. 

Mental Health Consequences 

One of divorce’s most challenging emotional aspects is a sense of isolation. Family and friends may not understand the depth of your emotional pain, and you may be hesitant to open up. The result can be profound loneliness, which may lead to more serious mental health issues. 

Divorce’s emotional toll can have lasting effects on mental health, contributing to anxiety and depression. The stress and uncertainty surrounding divorce proceedings can lead to sleep disturbances, appetite changes, and difficulty concentrating. 

Coping Strategies 

While the road to a post-divorce recovery may seem long and winding, you can take steps to safeguard your mental well-being

  • Professional therapy can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore your emotions and develop coping strategies. Therapists specialized in divorce-related issues can offer valuable insights and guidance. Many of our clients benefit from therapy, and you should not see it as something to fear, avoid, or be ashamed of. 
  • Sharing your thoughts and feelings with trusted individuals can alleviate the burden of loneliness and provide a sense of connection. Do not be afraid to rely on supportive family and friends.  
  • Engaging in self-care, such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies, can promote mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Taking time for yourself is not a luxury but a necessity during this challenging period. 
  • Acknowledge that healing is a gradual process because there is no quick fix. Set realistic expectations for your recovery so you can navigate the emotional ups and downs without becoming discouraged. 
  • Dwelling on the past is a normal reaction, but fixating on red flags you missed, past mistakes, or choices you made will not get you far. Dwelling on what went wrong can hinder your progress. Shift your focus to the future and set new goals so you can feel empowered and enjoy a sense of purpose. 

Acknowledge your emotional challenges, get support, and implement coping strategies. You will start your life over with newfound strength and resilience. Though your journey may be difficult, with the right mindset and support system, a brighter future awaits you on the other side of your divorce. 

Get the Help You Need from an Attorney You Can Trust  

If you are considering getting divorced or have decided it is the right step, call us at (215) 608-1867. You can start a new chapter in your life regardless of your age. We can discuss this over the phone, via a teleconference, or meet in our Doylestown or Langhorne office.  

Divorce outcomes are fact-driven. What will happen in your case depends on what is going on with your spouse, your business, and state law. We work with business owners to handle their unique situations fairly and protect their personal and business interests. There are “business owner gets divorced” horror stories, but your situation may be resolved so that the impact on your company is manageable (if not minimal) and you are able to start a new life. 

Part of the divorce process is the equitable distribution of assets, including determining which should be divided. After that, the judge decides whether a spouse is entitled to an asset (like business ownership, or at least part of it) based on their discretion and applicable law. Most divorce cases are settled through negotiations. Your spouse may accept other assets and/or spousal support in exchange for not pursuing claims related to your company. 

There are several factors in how your case may be resolved, including whether: 

  • You have an enforceable pre- or postnuptial agreement: Ideally, you both engaged with attorneys and worked out an agreement covering business ownership issues. If this is the case, the outcome may already be set. Time has passed, and with the benefit of hindsight, one or both of you may regret its terms. Unless both of you do not want to enforce the agreement and start all over again in the divorce process, how the issue will be handled has already been agreed upon. 
  • You have an unenforceable pre- or postnuptial agreement: There may be issues surrounding you or your spouse fully disclosing your business or financial situations and whether the agreement was voluntary. If your handwritten and mutually signed “contract” is not legally enforceable, it will not do you any good. Instead of contractual language, state law and its application to the facts will determine the outcome. 
  • You owned the business before your marriage, and your spouse has no ownership interest: Separate, personal property brought into the marriage is not subject to equitable division in divorce but any accrued value may be.   If your spouse had their own business or was fully occupied with their career and played no role in helping you or your business, they are not in a good position to claim they should be awarded partial ownership or part of its increased value during the marriage. Their claim becomes stronger if they gave up a career or spent substantial time and energy supporting you and your business.  
  • You started the business during your marriage: If the two of you co-own the company, hopefully, you have terms in a postnuptial or ownership agreement with a buy-sell provision that covers divorce. If so, it should state that in case of a divorce, one buys out the other’s interest with the price determined fairly and neutrally. Without an agreement, and if only you own the business, it can come down to whether your spouse helped you and your business, and if so, to what degree. The more your spouse sacrificed their life and career, the better argument they have to be awarded part ownership and/or a share of its increased value during the marriage 

The more organized, well-documented, and “by the book” you operate your business, the better off you will be in the divorce process. The more you run it by “the seat of your pants,” “under the table,” and engage in questionable practices to avoid taxes, the worse off you will be. You do not want to be in front of a judge insisting you are telling the truth if the evidence shows you are lying to the IRS. Credibility is critical if you cannot reach a settlement agreement with your spouse and your case goes to trial. Parties without credibility normally do not do well. 

Get the Help You Need From an Attorney You Can Trust 

The last thing you want is your marriage and your business to end at the same time. Whether you and/or your spouse own a business and want to learn more about how a divorce may impact you, call our office at (215) 608-1867 or book a consultation online. We can speak over the phone, via a teleconference, or meet in one of our offices in Doylestown or Langhorne.

Divorce is never an easy decision, but when wealth enters the equation, it adds layers of complexity that can make the process more challenging. High-net-worth individuals face unique issues and considerations when seeking to dissolve their marriages. Nearly all divorces are resolved through negotiations, and negotiations are especially important when a couple is wealthy.

Legal Representation

The more the two of you have, the more is at stake in a divorce. High-net-worth divorces require specialized legal representation and the use of outside experts. You rely on other professionals to run your business or manage your wealth. It only makes sense to retain a Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., attorney to protect your interests during this critical time in your life. We will help you negotiate the best resolution possible for you and your family.

Equitable Asset Division

One of the most significant challenges in a high-net-worth divorce is the division of assets. The greater the assets and the more complex they are, the more difficult it can be to unwind the financial relationship between the two of you. Once we get all the information about the assets you hold, we can begin to negotiate a fair and reasonable division that will work for both parties.

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are legal documents specifying the division of assets if the couple divorces. These agreements are especially useful when one or both parties have substantial wealth. If the two of you signed an agreement, we can review it.

If it is properly written and executed, it is binding. All that the agreement covers cannot be disputed or litigated during the divorce. That is good if the agreement is favorable to you, not so much if it is not.

Spousal Support

Depending on the circumstances, wealthy individuals may be required to pay substantial spousal support (alimony) to their former spouse. The marriage’s length, the income disparity between the parties, and the lifestyle to which the spouses are accustomed play a role in determining the amount and duration of spousal support.

Negotiating this aspect can be contentious, and often, the party potentially paying the support may be able to lessen or eliminate it if the other party receives certain assets or other issues are negotiated in their favor.

Business Interests

For those owning businesses, divorce can significantly impact a company’s operation and ownership. It is vital to consider the implications of a divorce on the business, including issues like stock ownership, control, and valuation. Depending on which side you are on, you want to protect your business interests and ensure its continuity, or you want your fair and equitable share of the company. Negotiations concerning the ownership of a family business can become emotionally charged, but it is something we have successfully handled many times.

Take the Best Approach

Litigation involving high-net-worth individuals can be very complex, time-consuming, and expensive. Those with more resources can spend more on litigation, but that is not necessarily a good idea.

In addition to spending hard-earned family wealth in the courtroom, divorce trials are open to the public. Whatever “dirty laundry” aired at trial can become public knowledge. You also lose control of the divorce’s outcome when it is put into the hands of a judge or jury.

Reaching a divorce settlement is like negotiating a business deal. It is all about costs, benefits, risks, and how to best manage them. Your divorce will be resolved one way or another. If the parties are reasonable, common sense will dictate the give and take between the parties. Once both parties know all the facts about your assets and other relevant issues, it is best to start negotiations sooner rather than later, because they could take a long time.

If your spouse is unreasonable when negotiating or sees the divorce as a way to get “payback,” litigation may be inevitable. Whatever path your case takes, Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., attorneys will protect your interests and defend your rights.

Get the Help You Need from an Attorney You Can Trust 

If you are thinking about getting divorced or you have decided it is the right choice for you, call us at (215) 608-1867 or schedule a consultation online now. No matter your income or assets, you can start a new chapter in your life. We can discuss your situation over the phone, via a teleconference, or meet in our Langhorne or Doylestown office. 

We think of a new year as a re-birth, an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and change our lives. That could be changing jobs, living healthier, going on that vacation you dream of, or ending your dysfunctional marriage. If you have had enough of marriage and decide it is time to move on, Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., is here to help.

Holidays are stressful when a marriage is on the verge of breaking up, especially if you have kids. You feel the need to “keep up appearances” to family and friends. You want your kids to have a positive holiday season, not one filled with thoughts of parents going their own ways. That is all perfectly reasonable, and it may be easier to do knowing that you will not need to continue your charade next year, so make the most of it.

Talk to Your Spouse

If you have not discussed a divorce with your spouse, unless you are in an abusive relationship and fear for your safety, you should. Ideally, you will be on the same page and can limit disagreements. When each spouse is reasonable and respectful, the process can go much faster, with less stress and expense. It is also far easier on children when the relationship ends on a positive (or at least not negative) note.

Contact Our Office

Holidays and obligations in November and December cut into the time and energy needed to prepare for a divorce. No matter how hectic your schedule, take the time to call our office and schedule a consultation. We can discuss your situation, what you need to do to prepare to get divorced, and how we can help. Together, we can “game plan” how to accomplish your goal of getting divorced.

Get Organized

Whether you start this year or after the holidays, collect and organize critical financial information and documents, including those concerning:

  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans or lines of credit
  • Credit scores and reports
  • Debts such as credit cards, student and vehicle loans
  • Property ownership
  • Investments
  • Retirement savings
  • Bills from private schools or colleges showing tuition costs
  • Medical records if one or both of you have conditions limiting your income potential
  • Business ownership and finances

Starting new bank accounts just for your use is a good idea. You should also set up a new email account and rent a post office box so you can communicate with us and others without your spouse being able to monitor your communications.

Be Prepared if You Think the Divorce Will Not Go Smoothly

If you fear your spouse will not end the marriage without a financial or emotional fight, you will have to be mentally and financially prepared. Long, drawn-out proceedings cost both spouses more time, energy, and money. Mediation may be an effective way to pull a spouse out of their anger and selfishness and make them realize the best resolution is one both parties can accept. Divorce is about starting new lives, not inflicting pain and revenge.

Get Emotional Help If You Need It

A divorce can come with a lot of emotional baggage. You may be angry or disappointed in yourself or your spouse. You may blame yourself for the end of what you imagined would be a fairy tale marriage. You may fear being alone in the future. It is very common for those undergoing a divorce to get help from healthcare professionals. You should explore this option if you feel you may need help.

Family and friends can be excellent sources of support – or not. They may tell you to stay together “for the children.” Their divorce may have involved very different issues, and their ex may have a different personality than your spouse, so what they say may be of limited use. People near you may greatly help you or give you bad advice. You must separate the good from the bad.

If It Is Time for You to Start a New Life, We Can Help  

To learn more about divorce, the legal process, or to discuss legal representation, call Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., at (215) 752-6200 or book a consultation online.  

If your co-parent makes damaging, false statements about you and you suffer some legally recognized harm under Pennsylvania law, you may have a defamation case. If these statements are made to or around your child and alienate them from you, a faster resolution may be through family court.

Parental Alienation

If your co-parent is making defamatory statements about you to your child, or they hear them when they are made to others, this may be part of an effort to seek vengeance against you or to punish you by poisoning your relationship with your child. They may try to toy with the child’s feelings for you. They want to manipulate them to the point it negatively affects or breaks up their relationship with you.

These parental alienation efforts need not be intentional or directed at the child. Their criticism of you may be so constant and open that your child cannot help but hear and think about it. They may conclude you are such a bad person that they do not want to be around you.

If this happens, your child may need counseling to separate the fact that you love and care about them from the fiction that you are a terrible person. This can also be a basis to ask a court to end or limit the other parent’s visitation or custody rights.

Pennsylvania law makes putting both parents in a child’s life a priority, but there are limits. Two factors a judge should consider when making a custody decision are whether:

  • One parent is trying to turn the child against the other
  • A parent encourages and enables the child’s frequent and continuing contact with the other

If you discuss this problem with your co-parent and they deny it happens (but your child says it does) or tell you they will say whatever they want, you should contact our office. If we cannot convince them (directly or through their attorney) to stop, taking this to court and forcing them to understand that their slander is endangering their visitation or custody rights may make them change their ways.

Making Defamatory Statements to Others

If these remarks are not made to or around your child but are made to others, depending on the facts of the case, under Pennsylvania statute, you may have grounds for a defamation case against the co-parent. Defamation that is spoken (to neighbors, coaches, and teachers, for example) is considered slander, and when it is written (like in social media posts), it is libel.

The statements must tend to harm your reputation and lower your position in your community. They may also discourage others from associating or dealing with you. Libel would blacken your reputation and expose you to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule. A court would view these statements in the context of your relationship.

It is not enough if these statements embarrass, annoy, or anger you. You would have to show the court real and tangible injuries, such as distress, depression, or anxiety. Losing a job or customers if you own a business can also show the statements harmed you.

Your co-parent may have defenses to your defamation claims, including a denial that the statements were made, or that they were made but are truthful or they are the opinion of the co-parent. If you file a claim for libel, you will need to prove the statements were made negligently or maliciously to be awarded damages.

What Should I Do If My Child Starts Turning Against Me? 

If you think you may be dealing with parental alienation or believe your co-parent’s statements have gone too far, please call Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., at (215) 752-6200.

If you are thinking, “I cannot afford to get divorced,” we have an option that may work for you. 

If your divorce is relatively simple, our flat fee is a good option for divorcing couples. If you have no children or few assets, a simple divorce may be your best choice. This may also work if you have worked out child custody or alimony issues and a fair distribution of debts and assets through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If complications arise, we will bill you hourly if they require more time and effort to resolve than we expected. 

The Benefits of a Flat Fee Charge 

There are many advantages to this approach beyond saving money: 

  • Cost Predictability: One of the most significant benefits of a flat fee is that you know what to expect. We agree on a specific price for our services upfront, allowing you to budget effectively and avoid unexpected legal costs.  
  • No Hourly Billing Surprises: In traditional hourly billing, you might receive invoices with charges for every phone call, email, or meeting with an attorney. Flat fee arrangements eliminate this uncertainty, as the total cost is set from the outset. 
  • Reduced Conflicts Over Billing: We avoid billing disputes, which can cause conflicts between clients and their attorneys in hourly billing arrangements. 
  • Focus on Resolution: With a flat fee arrangement, we are focused on ending your marriage as quickly and as efficiently as possible, preventing expensive, contentious, and lengthy legal battles. 
  • Reduced Financial Stress: Divorce can be financially challenging, and flat fee arrangements can reduce the stress associated with the process. You can focus on your future and family instead of monitoring your legal expenses. 
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing the cost of your legal representation upfront can provide peace of mind during a stressful divorce process. It allows you to concentrate on other aspects of your life and reduces the anxiety associated with ongoing billing concerns. 
  • Alignment of Interests: Flat fee arrangements align everyone’s interests. Spouses benefit from efficient case management and a swift resolution, which can result in a more cooperative working relationship. 
  • Tailored Services: We will tailor our services to your specific needs within our agreed-upon fee structure. 
  • Encourages Open Communication: Flat fee arrangements can foster better, more open communication between clients and our attorneys. Clients are more likely to seek advice and discuss their concerns without worrying about hourly charges 

Your divorce may still be affordable if your situation is too complex for a flat fee arrangement. Our firm works with a third-party company that may be able to finance our legal services. If you are interested in this, you will need to complete an application, and we will submit it to the company. If your case is complete, we also may help you with a payment plan to pay your balance. 

Call for a Confidential Consultation


Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., can provide dedicated, caring advice and counsel if you are considering getting divorced or have already decided that one is right for you. For a confidential consultation with a Doylestown divorce lawyer at Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C., call (215) 752-6200 or send us an email. We can meet you in our Doylestown or Langhorne office or speak on the phone about the divorce process and its cost.