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Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

Consider all assets in the property division process

Pennsylvania residents contemplating divorce may realize that, as part of the property division process, they will need to make a full accounting of their assets and debts. However, in many cases, couples come to realize that they have more assets and debts than they realized.

In their initial thoughts about property division, most people think of their primary assets: their home, bank accounts and vehicles. However, many people have more assets that will be part of the property division process, such as retirement accounts, business assets, investments accounts and even valuable collectibles. If these assets are considered marital property, they will be subject to the property division process in a divorce case.

What factors might make divorce less likely?

Many of our readers in Pennsylvania have probably heard the common refrain that half of all marriages in America end in divorce. But, these statistics are hard to pin down. The reality is that no one goes into a marriage thinking that there might be a 50% chance that it won't last. So, what factors might make a divorce less likely?

Well, according to a recent report, there are actually quite a few factors. One study took a look at the rate of divorces in America on a state-by-state basis. The study found a number of factors that indicate a relationship is likely to be healthy, and less likely to end in a divorce.

What expenses can child support cover?

Some couples who go through a divorce in Pennsylvania arrive at child support orders after contentious arguments in court. Others are able to negotiate an agreement on the amount and frequency of child support payments between themselves. However, some of our readers may wonder, after the child support order is in place, what expenses can child support be used to cover?

Child support can be used to cover a wide range of expenses. Most people probably think of expenses, like food and clothing, but child support can be used for many other expenses as well. Such expenses can include: medical treatment; entertainment; education; and child care, just to name a few. Most of these types of expenses are considered basic necessities, so the parent who receives the child support payments is justified to pay for such expenses with the funds they receive from the other parent.

Know the basics about child custody

When a divorce case in Pennsylvania involves child custody issues, the two soon-to-be ex-spouses may feel the need to push forcefully for the outcome they believe is best for the child. And, why not? For the vast majority of parents anywhere, their kids are the most important part of their lives. A divorce case can become quite complicated when child custody issues are involved, but that doesn't mean that a good result cannot be obtained.

If parents in Pennsylvania know the basics about child custody matters, they will likely be in a better position to understand how the issue may be resolved. For starters, it is important to know the difference between "legal custody" and "physical custody." The parent with legal custody has the right to make important decisions about the child's life, such as where the child will attend school, how the child's healthcare will be handled and where the child will attend church, if any, among other decisions. The parent with physical custody is the parent who the child will live with, primarily.

Getting a fair deal in property division during a divorce

Among the variety of issues that must be addressed in a divorce case in Pennsylvania, property division is the most likely to have a long-term impact on a person's financial security. After all, for most married couples, working together toward greater financial security is one of the main goals in life, particularly nowadays when both spouses are likely to be employed and earning an income. When it comes time to end the relationship, how those accumulated assets will be divided can be a major sticking point.

However, if both soon-to-be ex-spouses focus on getting a fair deal - not a deal that is slanted in favor of one over the other - then it may be possible to reach a satisfactory conclusion in the divorce case. But, what does a fair deal look like? Well, for starters, it doesn't always mean that all of the accumulated assets will be split 50/50. And, in many cases, such a "split down the middle" really doesn't make sense, based on the assets involved.

How can you protect a business in a divorce?

Everyone who gets married in Pennsylvania is likely to bring their own assets and debts to the relationship. For example, it is not uncommon these days for people to have thousands of dollars in student loan debt by the age of 22, while it may also be the case that some people can expect inheritances from relatives which may boost their financial security. Unique assets and debts can quickly become commingled in a marriage.

However, when a person who owns a business gets married, protecting that business can become a concern of paramount importance. So, how can Pennsylvania residents protect their businesses in the event of a divorce?

Are "millennials" taking a different approach to divorce?

There are millions of people in America who belong to the so-called "millennial" generation. These individuals, typically categorized as those who were born between 1980 and 2000, have been seen as changing quite a few different aspects of American society, from how we communicate with one another, to how we work and how we form relationships. Technology, it seems, is at the heart of it all.

So, are millennials taking a different approach to divorce as well, changing how marriages end? Well, according to a recent report, that very well may be the case. Many reports have noted that millennials are waiting longer to get married than previous generations and, when they do get married, these individuals are seemingly more hesitant to proceed with a divorce. However, when they do, they may be worried about how they are perceived by others in their online presence.

The basics about child support in Pennsylvania

Child support issues in a divorce case can cause quite a bit of concern for Pennsylvania residents. After all, you are not only ending a relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you are also addressing issues like child custody and child support that will likely affect your children for years to come. It is important for our readers to know the basics about child support in Pennsylvania.

For starters, child support issues typically come up in a divorce case because one side or the other requests child support. Although there are many new, innovative approaches to solving child custody arrangements these days, child custody is inextricably linked to child support. In most cases, one parent will be awarded primary custody of the children, while the other parent has parental visitation. This is true even in joint custody arrangements. As a result, the children are likely to be with one parent more than the other, creating a bit of a disparity in who is making direct payments for many things.

The right approach to child custody issues

Sometimes, the toughest part of a divorce is the issue of child custody. Child custody matters will also need to be addressed when a couple isn't married and never have been, but they have children together. No matter the family dynamic, child custody issues can be difficult for Pennsylvania residents to address.

Why are child custody issues so problematic in family law court? Well, any of our readers who are parents will understand: their children are the most important part of their lives. Parents, in general, do everything they can to make their children happy and make sure that their children have everything they need. When a child custody dispute arises, the issue at the heart of the matter is very personal for everyone involved.

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