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Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

Understand a father's right to child custody and visitation

In Pennsylvania, as in the rest of the country, family structures are changing. While many may follow a traditional route and get married, many couples have children without entering into matrimony with one another.

It is important to understand how the legal parenting relationship changes depending on one's marital relationship with the biological mother of one's child.

How much will you have to pay in child support?

Ending a marital or nonmarital union is no easy task. When children are in the picture, it makes the split even more challenging, as there are more lives involved and more decisions to make.

One of the most complicated and worrisome aspects is child support, whether you are on the giving or receiving end. If you have the obligation to pay, it can help to understand how the court decides how much support you must provide.

How can I stay financially secure during my divorce?

Many divorcing couples do not realize that maintaining two separate households after a divorce is very costly. In many instances, the same family income is now being divided to run two residences and pay the bills associated with them. In addition to this, one spouse is inevitably paying spousal and child support, straining finances even more. Thus, it is important to approach divorce proceedings with a clear head and accurate picture of one's finances.

Developing a post divorce budget can be helpful in these situations. Pennsylvania residents should take some time to know what their monthly expenses will look like. This is an even more important step for those individuals who have never dealt with bills or managed the household budget alone because their spouse has been in charge of it so far. Figuring out what one's immediate needs are, how much they will cost in the short-run and the long-run is beneficial and could include a new car, a new place to live, insurance and everyday items such as groceries and gas.

How does a prenuptial agreement protect a business?

While it may take a Pennsylvania couple some time to accept that their marriage is over and it is time to take the next step of getting the divorce, once the decision is made couples want to get through the motions quickly. No one wants a long drawn out divorce, as it consumes energy and finances. One way couples can plan to avoid the long drawn out process of property division is by entering into a prenuptial agreement at the time of the marriage.

Business owners may benefit even more than others from prenuptial agreements, as it allows them to protect their businesses from getting split during a divorce. Figuring out who gets the company and who has rights to which assets can be difficult and acrimonious to decide, especially if one party had already started up the company before getting married.

Do separate bank accounts make property division easier?

Pennsylvania residents might remember reading a recent post highlighting the differences between millennial couples and those of previous generations. For example, millennials are getting married later and pulling down the divorce rate. It was also mentioned how they are trying to be prudent about their financial choices, opting to live with their significant other before tying the knot in an attempt to drive down living costs. Another way in which millennials are different from their older counterparts is their approach to bank accounts after marriage.

According to one survey, 28% of millennials are opting to keep their bank accounts separate from their spouses and forgoing the traditional joint bank accounts. This is more than double the amount of baby boomers and Gen X couples that keep their accounts separate. One of the reasons for this is because it has become easier to split money through applications that allow one to pay someone immediately.

Move on after a divorce with our help

For most couples, marriage represents stability and routine. The end of a marriage brings an upheaval of emotions, finances, and life in general. Embarking upon the unfamiliar route is daunting for most Pennsylvania residents, especially because it is riddled with issues that affect the rest of a person's life. For example, child custody agreements decide where children will spend the majority of their time, while property division awards decide who lives where and gets what. If these issues are not handled properly, the repercussions can reverberate for ages.

Everyone's circumstances are different, which is why there is no one-solution-fits-all approach when it comes to divorces. While the end result is the same-the termination of a marriage-the route to achieving this objective is different for everyone. Its important for divorcing individuals to know what they want to achieve and how to go about getting it.

Father's fight for their parental rights in Pennsylvania

Having a child is often the most important day in the lives of their parents. Whether the couple is married, divorced, or never married one another in the first place, a father's right to remain an active part of his children's life is important. A child needs the affection, attention and encouragement from both of their parents to flourish, and the parent's relationship with one another should not affect that bond.

Fathers in Pennsylvania have recently begun protesting what they believe is a one-sided approach taken by courts. According to the PA Father's Rights Movement, judges typically side with mothers when it comes to determining child custody and other family law matters. One father claimed he had not been able to see his children in more than three years and all motions filed by him had been dismissed without adequate reason. Fathers were raising the issue to address the lack of equal parenting time and hoping legislators could figure out a way to get their voices heard.

Are millenials more likely to sign prenups?

Burdened with debt from many sides, millenials are taking their time to make important decisions, like choosing to marry. In an attempt to become financially independent first, they are driving the marriage rate down. Taking the time to settle, however, does have its advantages, as they are being strategic about who they choose and fearful of separation, thus, bringing the divorce rate down as well.

Since the 1980s, divorce rates have seen a 24% decline, and experts are crediting millenials for it. Often the product of divorced parents, they are hesitant of going through the process themselves. Resultantly, they are trying to avoid unstable marriages by taking their time to find someone to marry and getting their finances in order in the process. Unlike generations before them, they do not prioritize marriage and are getting married at a later age. This maturity may also contribute to a more stable and healthy relationship. Couples are also more likely to live together for around five years before tying the knot. Cohabitation has gone up six-fold from the previous generation.

Filing for a Pennsylvania protection from abuse

As a Pennsylvania resident who has a genuine fear of someone with whom you used to share a relationship, you may be exploring your options and trying to determine what you might be able to do to protect yourself or your child. In Pennsylvania, you may be able to obtain at least temporary protection against your abuser by securing what is known as a protection from abuse.

While the content of a protection from abuse order can vary to some degree based on the specifics of your situation and whether the order applies to just you, or you and your child or children, such an order will typically establish guidelines your abuser must abide by. For example, it may ban your abuser from contacting or harassing you, or you and your child, or it may force your abuser to return certain belongings of yours or your child.

An overview of joint custody

Of all the complicated issues that are involved in a divorce case in Pennsylvania, the parties usually hope that, above all else, they reach a satisfactory arrangement regarding child custody. After all, even if a happy marriage is no longer realistic, the couple will be forever bound together as parents of their children. That means they must attempt to reach an arrangement that works for all parties involved.

In most cases, the right result is a form of joint custody. Put simply, joint custody is an arrangement that recognizes that the parents must, and should, share responsibility for how a child is raised and cared for. But, there are two different aspects to joint custody: physical custody and legal custody.

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