Choosing The Right Path Of Protection
Norristown Family Law Blog
The decision to divorce may not ever be an easy one to make. It can entail a great deal of gut-checking and even pre-planning before anyone even files. However, once the divorce process begins for Pennsylvania couples, those couples may benefit from learning how a divorce can entail much more than simply ending a marriage. Indeed, there are many ways to go about a peaceful, less stressful and smooth dissolution of a marriage.
If there are children involved, the divorce process will undoubtedly affect them in a wide variety of ways. Issues that need to be dealt with fairly and lawfully include both child custody and child support. Having a comprehensive source of information about the custody laws and child support laws in Pennsylvania can help a couple prepare or understand the process as it unfolds.
Once a couple decides to pursue the dissolution of a marriage, there are many decisions to make as one household becomes two. The process of dividing property and drafting a custody agreement can be daunting. For Pennsylvania couples who share beloved pets, the process of deciding who will get the pets or how to handle the fate of pets during divorce can be just as daunting as dealing with issues traditionally related to children.
While pets may be cared for and loved as much a child, they are still regarded as property in the family court system. Despite this legal fact, there are many cases in which an agreement is drawn up that outlines who gets the pets and whether ex-spouses will share custody of the pets. It is not uncommon for a couple to share a pet or to care for it while the other party is gone; however, experts warn to not trade off too frequently as this can create stress for an animal.
When a couple is in the midst of a divorce and are dividing assets and finances, many people are guilty of thinking in the short-term and just wanting the divorce process to be over. The goal may be to split funds quickly and move on after a divorce. However, Pennsylvania couples may benefit by thinking about the long-term financial reality before agreeing to certain property division decisions or support payments.
When a couple has to decide what to do with a marital home, the decisions made may be based more on emotion than smart financial planning. Before deciding to pursue ownership of the home or walk away from a property, long-term equity implications should be considered. It should also be considered if keeping the home is something one partner can handle financially when the dust settles.
Adoption is a highly personal and emotional part of family law. The adoption process itself may be very complicated for Pennsylvania families to understand or work through. Different types of adoption may prove more challenging than others, particularly when it comes to same-sex parent adoption in Pennsylvania.
Adoptions in Pennsylvania vary based on county. This is why it is important to understand the unique regional requirements. Same-sex adoption may involve adopting a partner's or spouse's child and can be challenging for inexperienced couples to figure out. Step-parent adoption may also be challenging for families.
The process of dissolving a marriage can be complex for any couple. The divorce process may be more contentious and difficult if there are children involved or a large number of assets that need to be divided. One case keeps making news in Pennsylvania and elsewhere as Ken Griffin and his soon-to-be ex-wife continue to file legal motions against each other as money and where the children will live continue to be sticking points.
Mr. Griffin filed two petitions as a means of disputing his wife's petition to nullify the prenuptial agreement they signed before marriage. The wife, Anne Dias Griffin, says she was coerced into signing the agreement. Mr. Griffin believes the amount of support his wife claims is necessary to support the three children is more for her benefit rather than the children's. The amount of expenses claimed by the wife is $1 million monthly.
When there is a failure to pay child support, the paying parent may have to contend with varying legal consequences. One legal consequence for failing to appear at a child support hearing in Pennsylvania is the issuance of a warrant for arrest. However, with an extensive backlog of cases, one Pennsylvania county has found a unique was to deal with back child support, while also helping the parents to find a way to avoid further penalties -- a day of amnesty.
The program gives parents who are behind the chance to turn themselves in without fear of arrest. The cases are then heard individually and reviewed. The reasons for not being able to pay can be addressed, and a warrant for arrest can be dismissed based on the review.
One area of family court that can lead to a lot of contention is cases involving child support. Families may reach an amicable and workable agreement that meets needs in the short term, yet discover added expense and unexpected events lead to child support disputes or confusion. Pennsylvania families may be interested in knowing about how technology is helping families and courts deal with child support problems.
There are now programs and apps that can track expenses, be a resource for receipts and let a parent know exactly what specific funds are being used for what. Some of these programs can now be ordered by a family court judge. The apps and programs can be free to use, and one that is gaining in popularity charges a fee annually.
Whenever a person is legally identified as the parent of a child, that person is typically obligated to pay support if he or she is the noncustodial parent. However, this obligation to pay child support for a child is not always so cut and dried. Pennsylvania parents may be interested in the recent case of a man facing jail time over failure to pay child support for a child he did not father.
The man took a DNA test to prove that he is not he biological father of the child in question. Despite this fact, it has been determined that he owes $30,000 in back due support. This is because he is listed on the birth certificate as the father of the child.
Every couple may face money issues and decisions at one time or another. When that couple is planning to divorce, those money issues and decisions need to be front and center. Pennsylvania couples may want to contemplate the following matters and how divorce will affect finances overall, so as to be better prepared for life after the split.
The first thing experts recommend is that each party do a credit check. If left unchecked, shared debts can stay the responsibility of each party and adversely affect one person compared to another. Another vital step is to evaluate life insurance plans. In fact, all insurance policies should be re-evaluated to reflect the split.
When to file for divorce is not an easy decision for many people. For some, the decision may come over much contemplation, while for others in Pennsylvania, it may be a spontaneous decision. Whether thought out over years or days, when anyone prepares to file for divorce, it is vital to make certain decisions and think about the future, both long-term and immediate.
One area of concern for most every divorcing couple is debt. Any shared debt with both parties' names will be shared after a divorce. For anyone concerned with the level of debt in the marriage and possible debt after a divorce, assessing and planning debt management should be done as soon as divorce is a possibility.
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