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Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Personal bankruptcy quite different from business bankruptcy

Sometimes, people in Pennsylvania find themselves struggling to stay on top of their debt. Fortunately, if they can no longer stay afloat, they no longer have to try to do so on their own. Filing for personal bankruptcy may provide the financial relief they so desperately need.

When people think about bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy -- which companies file -- often comes to mind. This process involves reorganizing and financially restructuring until a company is in a better position to repay its debtors. However, the personal bankruptcy filing process is far different.

Property division steps may need to be taken after divorce, too

Navigating a marital breakup in Pennsylvania can certainly be emotionally trying, but it can be just as challenging financially. After all, divorce is essentially a process that untangles two lives that have become intertwined with each other perhaps over the course of years or even decades. However, the hard work that comes with divorce, such as facilitating fair property division, does not stop once the divorce has been finalized. A couple of essential steps are important to take after the breakup is final, too.

First, when it comes to retirement accounts, equalizing them or dividing them properly after the divorce is important. This is possible by making sure that a prepared QDRO, or a qualified domestic relations order, is implemented. It is not enough for a judge to sign this type of judgment. Rather, it has to be executed appropriately so that pension and/or 401(k) funds end up in the proper places.

Have questions about collaborative divorce? Keep reading

Like many other couples in Pennsylvania, you and your spouse may have agreed to part ways. Because you have children, you want to make sure that you make the divorce process as stress-free and smooth as possible.

You may consider using mediation to help you reach an agreement, but after hearing about collaborative divorce, you want more information about it in order to determine whether it would provide you more benefits and a better result. If this sounds familiar, the information below may help you make your choice.

Dogs treated as assets during property division

Man's best friend can clearly add value to the lives of a married couple's lives, so understandably, the couple may be at odds about who gets to keep the dog following a divorce. In family court, dogs are treated as assets during the property division process in Pennsylvania. However, the spouses can decide how they want to handle the ownership of such an asset, in a manner that satisfies both sides.

For instance, perhaps both spouses are attached to Rufus. They can come up with their own joint custody agreement involving the dog during their divorce proceeding. With this agreement, they can essentially send the pet back and forth between them so that it spends time with both parties in their homes. If the exes are not on speaking terms, they can even drop the dog off at the other party's house when the other party is not home or make other suitable arrangements.

Divorce mediation may help with address financial matters

Although the dissolution of a marriage in Pennsylvania can be difficult emotionally, it can be just as challenging financially. This is true no matter a couple's net worth or how long they have been married. A few tips may help those going through divorce to protect themselves financially, including planning a budget, planning to work in the future, and taking advantage of divorce mediation.

One of the most important steps following divorce is to adjust one's budget. After all, a marital breakup typically reduces the total income that a spouse has become used to receiving. Establishing a plan for essential items, such as housing, is a critical part of the budgeting process. Another essential move is to scrutinize all luxuries once enjoyed during marriage to see which ones can be eliminated going forward.

Property division, support payments require attention in divorce

A marital breakup can understandably be challenging to navigate. For this reason, finally coming to an agreement on matters such as property division and achieving a divorce settlement is a major reason to celebrate. However, a few moves are important to make even after the divorce has been finalized in Pennsylvania.

First, dividing retirement plans based on the divorce settlement agreement's terms is an important task. Dividing a 401(k) or a pension plan, but not an IRA, will require a QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, from the court. This document will provide plan administrators with instructions for paying out the proper benefits.

Mistakes at trial may affect property division outcome

Going through divorce may be one of the most difficult experiences a person may deal with in life. The process essentially involves pulling apart two lives that have become heavily intertwined from both a financial and an emotional standpoint. For instance, property division may involve deciding what to do about the marital home to which both parties have become attached, or determining how to split retirement assets. Unfortunately, a couple of common mistakes made at divorce trial may make the process even more difficult in Pennsylvania.

A mistake often made at divorce trial is giving courtroom personnel, including the court clerk, attitude. Although the judge makes decisions in a divorcing couple's case, the clerk of the judge is the party who ensures that the courtroom operates in the manner that the judge seems fit. As a result, upsetting the court clerk can quickly cause the judge to become angry, too.

Divorce mediation, focusing on children can help during divorce

The process of dissolving a marriage in Pennsylvania is never easy, especially when children are involved. After all, the two parents getting divorced may be at odds about who should have custody of the children. Choosing to sort out their issues through divorce mediation, which is generally more amicable than going to trial, may be immensely helpful for both themselves and their children. However, a few other tips may help the parents to further protect their children from the negative impacts of divorce.

First, not talking in a negative manner about a future ex-spouse to the children is critical. Divorcing parents naturally are emotional about their breakup and may feel inclined to bash each other in front of the children. The problem with this is that the children feel caught in the middle, where they feel they have to take one side or the other. Thus, venting to an adult family member, friend or therapist is a better choice than venting to the children.

Should you move forward with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing?

When you find yourself overwhelmed by personal debt and dealing with creditors or debt collectors, bankruptcy could be the appropriate choice for you. This step could allow you to achieve a better financial future and allow you to escape the pressure of insurmountable debt. Depending on the types of debt you owe and the circumstances of your individual situation, Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the right choice for you.

If you are considering the benefits of consumer bankruptcy, you may find it beneficial to first seek a complete understanding of your legal rights and options. If Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you, you may also find it helpful to have guidance as you walk through this process and seek a better future for your Pennsylvania family through this specific option.

Gathering data ahead of time may help with property division

Ending a marriage in Pennsylvania can understandably be challenging for both emotional and financial reasons. Not knowing where to start and what steps to take long term only add to the stress of going through a divorce. However, a few tips may help with navigating the financial aspect of divorce, especially when it comes to property division.

The division of debts and assets is one of the most contentious areas of divorce. Before tackling this task, gathering bank account statements as well as statements for retirement and non-retirement accounts is critical. Information on the values of property, such as boats and cars, as well as real estate may also be beneficial to obtain. Likewise, the value of a life insurance policy that has a cash value, statements from credit card companies, information about car loans and other types of loans, and information on the mortgage are all important to known as well.


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