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Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Property division involving marital home can be challenging

Getting divorced can be both emotionally and financially challenging, especially when two spouses are at odds about how to handle matters such as the distribution of assets. In fact, what to do about the marital home can especially be a major area of contention when it comes to property division. A couple of tips may help with effectively addressing the marital home during a divorce proceeding in Pennsylvania.

One option that may benefit two divorcing spouses is nesting. In this setup, the children live in the family home, and the parents simply take turns staying there. The parent who is not staying in the home will typically stay in an apartment that both parties have rented, with both of them splitting the rental costs. Long term, however, it may be helpful for one party to buy the other spouse out, or they could simply sell the property and divide the proceeds.

Separation, divorce, property division may cause confusion

Ending a marriage in Pennsylvania is hardly an easy and quick process. After all, many ethical and legal factors must be considered, including how to handle property division, for example. From a legal standpoint, a married couple has two options when they determine it is best for them to stop living together: legal separation or divorce.

Legal separation is essentially a contract the court draws up that enables both spouses to live apart while still being able to take advantage of the responsibilities and rights associated with marriage. It is usually called a trial separation. Both parties can take a break from the fighting and anger surrounding their relationship and experience a cooling down period before deciding to get divorced or stay married.

Can I pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Anyone can file for bankruptcy, right? Not necessarily. You have to be in a fairly precarious economic situation in order to do it, and the status of your financial situation will be used to determine for which type of bankruptcy you may qualify. If you are particularly interested in pursuing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, take a means test to see if you meet the necessary qualifications.

Means test, what's that? Good question. It is the first step anyone, whether they reside in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, must take when wanting to pursue a bankruptcy filing. How does it work and what does it mean?

Divorce mediation may help, but not always

The divorce process can be a beast in Pennsylvania due to the emotional and financial effects it can have on those going through it. Even when both spouses in a divorce proceeding are trying to be as reasonable as possible, the process itself can be overwhelming from a legal standpoint. Fortunately, divorce mediation may make getting divorced a faster and more amicable experience.

Mediation essentially involves using a third party, known as a mediator, to help divorcing spouses to address important matters in their divorce, such as child custody and property division. With mediation, two spouses can work toward a mutually beneficial agreement in less time than it would take to go through divorce litigation. However, mediation may not always be the best option for a married couple seeking to divorce.

Property division can be tricky with home, 401(k)

Now that summer is officially over and the kids are back in school for the fall, it is "official" divorce season. Going through the end of a marriage can understandably be financially challenging and emotionally confusing. However, a couple of tips may help with navigating this type of family law proceeding in Pennsylvania, specifically when dealing with property division issues.

One of the costliest mistakes one spouse can make during divorce is deciding to keep an expensive marital home. Many spouses choose to keep the family home for emotional reasons. However, the expenses to maintain the home may not be sustainable in the long term.

Property division among topics addressed in divorce petition

Sometimes marriages in Pennsylvania do not always work out and divorce is unavoidable. However, figuring out how to go about getting a divorce and then deal with issues such as property division can understandably be confusing. An important first step in the divorce process is the actual act of filing for divorce.

The spouse who wishes to get divorced can simply file a legal document called a divorce petition in court. This document essentially tells the court that the spouse wishes to put an end to the marriage. When this petition is legally served on the other spouse, this other party will know that the process of getting divorced has started.

Property division an essential aspect of divorce in Pennsylvania

When the dissolution of a marriage is inevitable, feeling overwhelmed is natural. After all, many decisions have to be made before a divorce can be finalized, such as property division. A few tips may help with navigating this type of family law proceeding in Pennsylvania.

First, taking stock of one's living expenses, such as the utility costs and the mortgage, is important for determining whether one's current lifestyle can be maintained. An important part of maintaining this lifestyle is understanding what assets will end up being divided between the two spouses. In the state of Pennsylvania, which is an equitable distribution state, the aim is to determine a division of assets that is fair.

Financial planning for special needs

Families naturally want to aid and preserve the happiness of their relatives, and it is likely that you are no exception. If special needs individuals are among those who you love, then you may even wish to give them all that you can to ensure that they can continue to have the best possible standard of living, even after you have passed on. You want to have financial security for future home needs, therapeutic services and medical costs.

But did you know that giving money directly to a person with special needs may jeopardize his or her ability to support him or herself? A qualifying disabled person may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. These government programs give a stable source of income and medical care to individuals with disabilities in this country. Keeping these government benefits can be essential to the well-being of the recipient.

Property division involving IRAs can be complicated

The process of getting divorced in Pennsylvania is inherently challenging from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. After all, untangling two people's lives through property division can be difficult. One area of divorce that can be particular complicated is the splitting of assets -- especially the division of an IRA plan.

A common mistake made when spouses are attempting to divide an IRA plan is to think that QDROs apply to IRAs. Instead of being used to divide an IRA, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is useful for dividing a company retirement plan that is subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The court has to include particular details in an order for it to be considered a QDRO.

Personal bankruptcy viable option in certain situations

Bankruptcy filings have been dropping across the country since 2005. However, personal bankruptcy filings continue to be helpful for reclaiming financial health in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Filing bankruptcy may be beneficial in several scenarios.

Bankruptcy may be a viable option for those whose debts are greater than over half of their annual incomes. It might also be a beneficial option for those who would need over five years to pay off their debts, even if they had meager budgets and made many sacrifices. Finally, bankruptcy may be the best choice if debt is affecting one's significant personal relationships, health or work.


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