Tag Archives: WAIVER

Can I file for divorce in Pittsburgh and not owe my wife anything?

Q: I was married 5/20/17 in WA to a woman who was living at home and not employed. She contributed nothing to the marriage, although her mother assisted her with moving costs to Pittsburgh. I just started a surgical residency. On 9/5/17 she disappeared when I was at work and went back to WA with her mother, back to exact same situation she was prior to marriage. I attempted over next month to reconcile, and she has remained unreconcilable. She did not work during the 3 months she lived with me. I bought a house with no down payment, only in my name. My bank account is only in my name. I only have 6k in my checking. Is there a way to file for divorce where I would not have to give her anything – like sign a document where we each don’t owe the other anything? She would spend more fighting. (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: There is more information needed to adequately respond and I suggest you consult with a Pittsburgh divorce attorney. Working in your favor is the short marriage (7 months) and not much in assets because you are both just starting out. This does not mean she cannot obtain an award of spousal support from you. She has the duty to work and if she doesn’t the court can impute wages to her at least at a minimum wage level. The short length of the marriage will bode well for you regarding alimony and division of property. However, if it is possible to get her to agree to a simple no-fault divorce, you can get out of this easily. You can offer to pay for it all and have your attorney send her all the paperwork to sign and return. A simple divorce like this is not expensive. Both of you would waive any claim to the other’s property and waive support and alimony. This is commonly done with couples in your situation.

Can I take my plea deal back at big court?

Q: Can a plea bargain at the preliminary hearing level be taken back if I signed it? I was charged with 2nd DUI on the 2nd tier, and also child endangerment and was offered a plea bargain, which I did sign. My lawyer told me the DA didn’t know about a new law. My question is what are my chances of losing the deal when I go to big court? (Pittsburgh, PA).

Q: I am not sure if I understand your question. If you signed some waiver agreement at the preliminary hearing and your case is now going up to “big” court (Court of Common Pleas), you can still change your mind and go to trial or have your attorney push for a better deal. If you actually pled guilty and were not sentenced, but now want to withdraw your plea, prior to sentencing, the rules are generally favorable for you. You really need to have serious discussion with your attorney about this.

What do I do with the Petition for Settlement of a Small Estate?

Q: I just received a petition for settlement of a small estate. What do I do now? I’m one of the 3 heirs of my mother’s estate. My stepfather is the one taking care of this business. There is also a waiver of a 20-day notice sheet and an ‘order’ sheet. Are these basic forms to be signed in order to get what she left behind? Is there anything I should look out for?

A: Settling an estate by small estates petition is less time consuming and less expensive than settling and estate by filing for probate then closing the estate informally by the filing of a Family Agreement or formally by First and Final Account with the court. It is used when the assets are under 25k and do not include real estate. You have the right to not agree to this and hold it up if you want. However, you should call the attorney and ask him how much you might receive, if any, and exactly what assets were left by your mother. If you are not satisfied with his explanation or he won’t return your call, you can either 1) consult with an attorney who will do this for you or 2) show up in court on the date of presentation of the petition (for which you will receive notice) and express your dissatisfaction to the judge. The judge will set the matter for a conference, at which time your questions hopefully will be answered.


Why did his Public Defender “waive” his case?

Q:  Does a public defender waive court appearance. A  friend is in jail, and the past two court dates the public defender waives his appearance. Why ?

A: If you are stating the PD waived a case to a further court, that is not that unusual of a practice. Many times an attorney or PD will advise a client to waive a case from a preliminary hearing, which means he did not choose to contest the matter at that particular hearing. Sometimes it is done because the lawyer or PD did it in exchange for some of the charges to be dropped, sometimes it is done in exchange for a lower bond, sometimes it is done because there is no defense and to litigate a preliminary hearing is a useless effort. You need to ask the PD.