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Norristown Family Law Blog

Pennsylvania families may find apps helpful in divorce

Communication can be a problem for co-parents during and after a divorce. Despite any communication problems or lack of desire to communicate, Pennsylvania parents who divorce simply have to find a way to communicate as they co-parent. When issues crop up or parents have a dispute, it may help to have tools in place to resolve issues and help parents work together.

As virtually everyone carries a smart phone, apps are increasingly popular and helpful in many areas of life. Divorce and co-parenting is no different as apps have evolved to help parents be better co-parents and resolve conflict. One app is available as a means of tracking child support payments and other extra payments. When a parent needs to go to court or prove payment, having this app can be helpful for those incidents or during a modification hearing.

Drastic reduction in child support sought by Halle Berry

Halle Berry has made news recently for more than just her movie and television career. The star has gone to court to seek a drastic reduction in the amount of child support she pays to her ex-boyfriend for her now 7-year-old daughter. The modification process can hinge on the proof of a substantial change in income or the needs of the child. Missouri parents who feel they pay too much or receive too little child support may find the modification process is the answer to the problem.

In the case of Halle Berry and her ex-boyfriend, the pair had a child together in 2008. They split in 2010. In a court proceeding last year, Berry agreed to pay for school tuition and half the health care costs for the child. She also agreed to pay $16,000 a month in child support.

Financial concerns to consider during a divorce

A divorce does not just disrupt the relationship between the parties and any children involved. It also disrupts the financial life of all involved. Regardless of socio-economic status, a divorce in Pennsylvania typically impacts the short-term and long-term financial outlook for both parties. It is recommended that couples takes certain steps and think about certain financial decisions in order to ensure a smoother and less financially disruptive divorce.

One tip is to sit down and outline the financial reality now and what the future may look like. This can be done by writing down and reviewing credit card statements and bank statements from the past year. This will help outline what each party can afford and what to expect in the future. Including future expenses, such as insurance costs and child expenses like braces, is also recommended.

In-kind child support method may help with accountability

For many parents who pay child support, sending a check each month is both a legal and moral obligation. However, parents may wonder exactly what the child support payment is used for and may want more accountability dollar for dollar. One way Pennsylvania parents and others are finding useful for providing much-needed support and having a say in how the money is used is referred to as in-kind child support.

This form of support refers to a parent directly paying for items the child needs. This can include food, clothing and other expenses bought and paid for outright rather than a monthly payment of a certain amount. A recent study has shown this method to be particularly useful for low income parents who may have trouble coming up with a certain amount by a specific date each month.

Clearing up divorce process details for Pennsylvania couples

Divorce process will obviously be unique to each couple, yet certain aspects of a split may be more common than couples expect. One part of the divorce process that can get complex is property division. If a Pennsylvania couple has amassed a great deal together or has a shared business, there may be certain details of the property settlement agreement that need to be cleared up before anyone agrees to anything.

First of all, it must be clear that all assets are known. Some assets may be overseas, unknown or simply being hid by one party. Identifying what assets need to be split is the first and vital step toward ensuring fairness. Also, the second step is to be clear about the exact date of the split as this can impact debts in particular. If a spouse accrues a great deal of debt after a certain date, the other spouse may either be free and clear of that debt or partially liable, depending on the agreed upon date of the split.

Family home can complicate divorce matters in Pennsylvania

For many couples, the family home may be the most valuable asset. It may also be the asset that both parties are the most emotionally attached to at the time of a divorce. Pennsylvania couples who are navigating a divorce will need to agree on the fate of a marital home in order for both parties to move forward after the split. Making and adhering a formal agreement can also help avoid pitfalls and problems such as foreclosure or credit issues that could result from not agreeing to a plan.

One plan couples may consider is to sell the home. Even though a divorce may be pending or have been finalized, both must agree on a list price and a plan of action if the house does not sell within a certain time frame. If a couple has an acrimonious relationship, but they still need to work together for the closing on the sale of their house, one solution may be for one party to physically attend a closing and the other party to fax pre-signed paperwork.

Preparation needed to protect finances after divorce

One of the biggest points of contention during a Pennsylvania divorce proceeding is determining how assets and property should be distributed. As a result, feeling financially secure following a divorce can be tricky. A few tips may help people to rebuild their wealth after going through a divorce.

It is first essential to consider how new expenses resulting from the divorce settlement, such as alimony or child support, will impact one's household budget. Following a divorce, a person would be wise to refrain from engaging in unnecessary spending so that he or she can make sure enough money is available to cover new expenses that he or she might not have thought about before getting divorced. Developing an emergency fund and continuing to save for retirement can also help to provide a newly divorced individual with some financial security.

Difficult parent relationship leads to child custody case

When parents split and find it difficult to find common ground, family court intervention may be the only way to resolve disputes and ensure the best interests of the children are upheld. While it may be best for the parents to resolves issues outside of a court room, some parents cannot, and there may be underlying issues or allegations that make child custody problems impossible to deal with on their own. Pennsylvania parents who find communication difficult or impossible may be forced to pursue sole decision-making responsibilities through the courts rather than continue to try and communicate together.

One father is in the midst of seeking sole decision-making responsibility for his minor children. The couple was married for more than 20 years, and the marriage was annulled once it was discovered the wife was not legally divorced from her first husband. The couple's minor children are 16, 14 and 10-year-old twins.

Divorce can impact social security benefits

The divorce process undoubtedly affects each party's finances now and in the future. Pennsylvania couples going through the divorce process need to know how their personal finances will be impacted so they can plan accordingly. As for future finances, it may surprise some to know that social security benefits can be accrued and distributed after a divorce.

If an ex-spouse is 62 years of age or older and the marriage lasted 10 years or more, that person may be eligible for benefits that stem from the earnings of the other spouse. However, there are certain provisions to this rule. If a former spouse's benefits are less than the other person's benefits, he or she cannot be eligible for those benefits. Also, an ex-spouse cannot collect his or her own benefits plus benefits from a former spouse.

Ruling in international child custody case makes headlines

The family court system works diligently to make decisions based on the best interests of the children involved; however, the rights of parents to visit or have access to children must also be respected. When Pennsylvania families need to seek family court assistance for an international child custody situation, a temporary order may be handed down to further explore the situation. A television star, Kelly Rutherford of Gossip Girl fame, has made news for her win in her international child custody fight.

The actress mom and her ex-husband married in 2006, and they then separated in 2008. A divorce was finalized in 2010. During that time, the couple had two children. Rutherford's ex-husband took the children overseas, where they have been living without Rutherford.