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Norristown Family Law Blog

High profile divorce leads to several being subpoenaed

Once a couple decides to split, the act of splitting assets, funds and child custody can be a more in-depth process than some may realize. Pennsylvania couples may find they need outside help from other professionals in various fields in order to move forward with the divorce process. One high profile couple is making news as their divorce has been on-going for over a year and has resulted in others being subpoenaed to provide information and insight.

The husband is the billionaire founder of Citadel. His wife signed a prenuptial agreement in 2003, and the husband filed for divorce in 2014. The couple has yet to settle issues regarding the validity of the prenuptial agreement and also child custody issues.

Financial steps for Pennsylvania couples going through divorce

Regardless of the status or length of a marriage, there are serious financial changes that will occur. Those financial changes need to be addressed by both parties in a divorce in Pennsylvania. Once both parties address these immediate financial concerns and obligations, the divorce process may move forward more smoothly, and each party may have a clearer sense of where he or she stands financially after the divorce.

First and foremost, important financial documents must be located and secured. This can mean tax returns, investment statements and any credit card company reports. Making copies and securing hard copies with a trusted friend or family member is recommended.

Federal law pertaining to child support could land dad in jail

Violation of a child support agreement can lead to serious consequences, including jail time in some cases. If a Pennsylvania parent falls behind in child support payments for any reason, understanding the consequences is vital. It is also vital to know about a federal law pertaining to back due support and the ability to move to another state, as moving away has led to possible jail for one dad in particular.

The case currently making news involves a father who was behind more than $90,000 in child support payments. The 51-year-old man was making reduced payments for some time. Then, he stopped making payments all together in 2012. The man also moved from one state to another.

Equitable distribution of property can involve pets

Many families have a deep attachment to their pets. For some family members, the attachment and love for a family pet can be just as important as the love for a child. This can be evident in Pennsylvania courts as property division agreements can involve disputes concerning the fate of these pets. While still legally regarded as property, more and more courts are taking individual cases into consideration and implementing creative resolutions when equitable distribution of property involves a pet.

One case recently noted refers to a couple who had a cat. The wife's love and attachment for the cat served as a sort of bargaining chip for the husband. By giving the cat back to the wife, the man was able to negotiate more visitation time with his daughter.

New law may help parents behind in child support

When a parent fails to pay court-ordered child support for whatever reason, there may be serious consequences handed down, including wage garnishment or loss of a driver's license. If a parent loses his or her Pennsylvania driver's license due to lack of payment of child support, that parent's livelihood and ability to pay in the future may be further jeopardized. One state has enacted a law to help parents who are behind in child support avoid losing their jobs by offering them a chance for obtaining a special driver's license.

The new law relates to issuing a restricted driver's license. The parent who is behind in payment can show he or she works 30 hours a week and works more than a mile from home. This and other eligibility requirements can lead to the issuance of a restricted license so that parent can still get to work and earn the money needed to get current on a child support obligation.

Child custody can get complicated at start of school year

The beginning of the school year can be a hectic and chaotic time for any parent. When parents are divorced and in the midst of working on a child custody agreement, the beginning of the school year can complicate the situation even more. Pennsylvania parents may find the following tips helpful as they navigate co-parenting challenges in the beginning of the school year.

One source of problems may be the sharing of information. One parent may feel left out of the loop if that parent is far away and unable to attend important events, such as the first day of school and conferences. Technology can help that parent feel connected. It may be applicable for the parent who lives away to be included in any teacher conferences via phone calls to ensure that the parent has a say in educational decisions as outlined in a custody agreement.

Infidelity can impact Pennsylvania divorce

The recent hacking of an Internet site has brought news of hidden infidelity to light for many. Some Pennsylvania couples may wonder how proof of infidelity can impact a divorce. While Pennsylvania is a no-fault divorce state, the factors that led to that divorce, including infidelity, can affect how a divorce unfolds for both parties.

For some, infidelity can be costly as the guilt may be used as leverage by one spouse. But, when it comes to actual dollars and cents, the money a spouse used on an affair may be calculated and prove important as a divorce settlement moves forward. One example is if an unfaithful spouse buys an expensive gift for someone else with marital funds; the other partner may make a request to have half that amount reimbursed in a divorce settlement.

Child support reminder: public shaming or convenient option?

When it comes to a child support order, many details are outlined, such as means of payment and action, that may be taken if a payment is late or not made at all. Pennsylvania parents may have a plan for letting the other parent know he or she is late or may have outlined specific consequences if a payment is not made. One state has taken up the cause of reminding parents they owe child support through the delivery of a post card. That method has drawn some ire from some parents.

One parent in particular has voiced his dislike of the post card that comes in the mail to his house. The post card has the parent's name on it and asks the question as to whether or not that parent has paid for the month. The parent says this method is an invasion of privacy and essentially calls out non-custodial parents publicly.

Adoption situations in Pennsylvania can vary greatly

Adoption cases can be emotional and complicated for parents, potential parents and children involved. No two adoption situations are alike just as no two Pennsylvania families are alike. Whether it is a simple or complicated adoption, there are legal procedures in place and knowledge of the law that needs to be brought to the table because each case can be vastly different and the adoption process in each Pennsylvania county can be different.

Most parties involved in the process strive to ensure an adoption is handled with the least amount of contention. Litigation is hopefully avoided due to the sensitivity of some cases. This may mean legal representatives need to go out of their way to work toward an amicable move in terminating parental rights. This consent is vital for an adoption to move forward.

Immediate financial steps to take during a divorce

A divorce changes virtually everything in the lives of the parties involved. Finances are certainly part of those changes, regardless of the length of the marriage. It is important for both parties in a Pennsylvania divorce to understand those changes and prepare themselves in order to financially survive a divorce and to ensure fairness as the proceedings move forward.

One important step to take is to divide accounts and assets. One party's credit score can take a hit if assets or accounts are in both names and the other party does not pay on time or at all. Mortgages and car loans should be settled. Refinancing can be the key to protecting finances or selling the property if refinancing is not possible.