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Norristown Family Law Blog

Child custody process can focus on what is best for kids

Anytime a family splits, the issue of child custody can evoke a lot of emotion and confusion. The entire child custody process can become the most important aspect of any divorce. For Pennsylvania families, understanding how child custody works in the state and how the legal system may be beneficial can be helpful even under the most contentious circumstances.

There are many options for deciphering child custody issues aside from a courtroom battle. Mediation and collaborative family law options can help families reach decisions in a fair and timely manner. This process helps parents work together for the common good of the children involved.

Divorce takes specific planning for Pennsylvania couples

The decision to seek a divorce can be one of the biggest decisions a person ever makes. The process of getting a divorce in Pennsylvania also reaches way beyond simply knowing that all parties involved want to get a divorce. There are many steps and specific planning tips to follow to ensure as successful and smooth a divorce as possible for all parties involved.

One tip to make the divorce process smooth is to gather all information about property and assets that have been acquired during the marriage and even before the marriage. This may include assessing and taking pictures of property and gathering tax returns. It is also recommended that couples change passwords and switch personal bank accounts over to their separate names, so as to see where they stand independently when it comes to credit and finances.

What circumstances may warrant a child support modification?

A permanent child support order is typically agreed upon once parents finalize a divorce or decide custodial issues. However, a child support order is not set in stone and is not simply set as is forever. There are times when Pennsylvania parents experience a change in circumstances or a child's needs change. When this happens, parents may seek a child support modification to accommodate these changes.

A child support modification can be a temporary order, depending on the circumstances. One set of circumstances that may warrant a temporary modification may concern a parent that lost his or her job. Also, if a parent becomes ill and the other parent needs to take custody for a period of time, there may be a temporary modification of a child support order.

Finances need attention during a divorce

When a couple decides to dissolve a marriage, there are numerous decisions that need to be made right away. When it comes to finances, there may be decisions that have to be made quickly once both parties decide that divorce is imminent. Pennsylvania couples may want to follow a few tips about which financial decisions should be made swiftly.

Credit cards should be dealt with first, as should any bank accounts. If there are cards with a zero balance, both parties may want to cancel them quickly. If a spouse has a card with the other person’s name on it and decides to use it and then not pay the balance, that other spouse may be responsible for the debt. Bank accounts should be divided quickly so that one spouse does not take out money and spend it, affecting the amount of money available for immediate use.

Businessman faces felony charge for child support issues

Every state has procedures in place to deal with the nonpayment of child support. Whenever someone does not pay a child support obligation in Pennsylvania, there can be serious legal consequences. For one man who was behind in his required support payments in another state, felony charges now await him when he returns to the state where he owes the support.

The man was apparently ordered to pay $563 a month in child support. Reportedly, he failed to pay starting in 1996. His past due child support is said to amount to about $250,000. Authorities tracked the man down out on the West Coast, where he is said to be a successful celebrity trainer known around the world.

Back to school tips for parents after divorce

The back to school season can be wrought with changes and new schedules for both children and parents. After parents go through a divorce, the changes in schedules can multiply and become more difficult to keep up with. Pennsylvania parents may want to follow a few tips for making the back to school season smoother for everyone after a divorce.

One tip for parents is to work out the details of back to school shopping and expenses in advance. A parent can keep track of receipts to help each parent figure out their respective financial obligations for expenses, such as clothes, school supplies and sports needs. Another tip is to keep track of events by ensuring both parents have copies of schedules or school calendars and openly communicate about transportation responsibilities to school events.

Dad serves jail time for clerical error regarding child support

Most parents diligently act to stay current with the child support order they are obligated to pay. If a parent falls behind in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, there are a number of circumstances that can occur, one of those being jail time. Recently, a dad was released from jail related to a child support issue. The situation made news due to the fact that the back due child support was due to a clerical error rather than an intended failure to pay.

The father has a son and had arranged for his child support payments to automatically come out of his paycheck. It was discovered that the payments were only coming out of the check on a sporadic basis, and not consistently as they should have been done in order for the dad to stay current with those payments. By the time the situation was discovered, the man was behind $3,000.

Unusual decisions in Pennsylvania divorce process

When people decide to end a marriage, there is a long list of decisions they may need to make. Some of those decisions need to be made by everyone at one point or another, and some of those decisions can vary by couple. One item Pennsylvania couples may need to consider during a divorce is the question of name changing.

Once divorced, one party may decide to either take back her or his maiden name or to choose a new name altogether. For many, this decision may involve the children. One option that is currently being noted is the hyphenating of names so that children and parents still have the same name, but possibly a variation. The decision to alter a child’s name may require cooperation from the other parent and can be a point of contention as some marriages dissolve.

Pennsylvania couples need to consider finances in divorce

The divorce process involves more than determining where a person will live or who will get the family dog. It can be a very massive upheaval of one’s finances. Any Pennsylvania couple in the midst of a divorce may benefit by considering a few tips about how to deal with credit card accounts before they actually start anew.

If both parties are obligated on the credit card, both are legally obligated to keep up with the debt. If one party says they will assume payments, but they then neglect to do so, the other party can still be held accountable if their name remains on the account. The best way to deal with this scenario is to designate who will take ownership of what account and then transfer balances to new accounts to relieve the other party of responsibility. Another idea is to take any joint savings and simply pay off and close out any joint accounts.

Divorce and effects on homes for Pennsylvania couples

There are many decisions to be made when a decision to end a marriage is made. The division of property during a divorce can take a major emotional and financial toll on all parties. The fate of a home and the process of getting a new home can be particularly complicated for Pennsylvania couples as they navigate a divorce.

The process of how to split a house and the resulting impact varies according to whether a couple is just separated, in the process of divorce or has finalized a divorce. If still married, one party can surely go out and buy a home of their own. However, the other spouse -- a soon-to-be ex-spouse -- will need to sign documents releasing them from any interest in the new property being acquired.

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Law Offices of Maribeth Blessing, LLC
310 Huntingdon Pike
Rockledge PA 19046-4445

Telephone: 866-603-8691
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