Greensburg Pennsylvania Law Blog

Most individuals who file for bankruptcy have high medical debts

Some individuals in Pennsylvania who find themselves in debt do so because they have lived beyond their means. Then there are those who tried their hardest to be as responsible as possible with their finances -- and still ended up drowning in debt. There are some trends when it comes to why individuals end up filing for bankruptcy.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health earlier this year, captures how only a little more than 44% of bankruptcies are filed because individuals live beyond their means. The researchers found that at least 45% of those who file for bankruptcy end up doing so because they find themselves tied up in unaffordable mortgages. A staggering nearly 67% of all bankruptcy cases are filed because of medical debt.

Long-term care does not always mean nursing home

When your grandmother was aging, she had few options. She could hope that one of her children could care for her, or she could go into a nursing home. It was not unusual for an elderly person to spend the last decade of life in a nursing home with other residents in varying stages of decline. This is not so today.

If you are planning for the future, you should know that you have many more choices than your grandmother did. In fact, you have options for many stages of life and levels of care. The challenge is to prepare yourself financially so you can pay for the type of care you need and the quality of care you deserve.

What are the requirements to file for divorce in Pennsylvania?

If you and your spouse have reached an impasse with one another or you've grown apart, then you may feel that your only option is to go ahead and get a divorce. Like many other states, there are certain requirements that you have to meet to be eligible to file for divorce in Pennsylvania (PA).

To be eligible to file here, either one or both of you must have lived in the state for a least six months before filing for a divorce. You can either negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement in your divorce among yourselves. State law also allows you to provide at-fault grounds for requesting to end your marriage as well.

Pennsylvania House considering bill dealing with pets in divorce

We have written before about what happens to pets when Pennsylvanians divorce. For example, even before marriage, a couple can execute a prenuptial agreement with terms controlling what would happen to any pets should divorce occur. Or, at the time of divorce, the spouses may agree on matters related to a family pet in a marital settlement agreement.

How many people have actually done their estate planning?

If you haven't done your estate planning yet, despite knowing that you're going to need those documents eventually, you're not alone. A lot of people put this off or just completely neglect to do it.

In fact, some reports show that more than 50% of people in the United States have not even done the most basic estate planning.

Pennsylvania alimony law gives judges discretion with direction

A major issue in most divorces is whether one spouse will have to pay alimony for support to the other spouse. People often negotiate the resolution of the issue of alimony when divorcing and include it in a settlement agreement. Or, the parties may have predetermined alimony as a term of a prenuptial agreement.

If not agreed upon by the parties, the judge in a Pennsylvania divorce must decide whether to award alimony and the terms of the award such as the amount of payments and its duration.

How can an attorney help you if you and your spouse separate

For many couples, separation is a precursor to divorce. For others, taking some time apart helps them reevaluate their relationship, resolve their issues and build a stronger marriage. Regardless of the eventual outcome, separation from your spouse is no small change -- particularly when you have children together.

Even if you and your spouse haven't decided whether you'll eventually divorce, it's wise to take inventory of your finances. It's always better to do this sooner rather than later. If you proceed toward divorce, your communication may deteriorate and it may be more difficult to have full transparency of your marital assets.

The phenomenon of gray divorce in the United States

The numbers may surprise you. Since the 1990s, the divorce rate of people at least 50 years old has "roughly doubled," according to Pew Research Center. Pew looked at federal government data, noting that for people at least age 65, the divorce rate in that same time frame tripled.

Take the means test to see if you qualify for Chapter 7 relief

Are you drowning in debt? If so, you are not alone. There are quite a few Pennsylvania residents in the same boat as you. Like many of them, you are probably wondering what you can do about it. There are various debt relief options out there; Chapter 7 bankruptcy is just one of them. If you think this type of bankruptcy may be a good fit for you, you need to take the means test to see if you qualify.

The means test is nothing to stress about. There are no wrong answers. It really is just a form used to compare your income level to the state's median income level. If your income is above the state median and you have sufficient disposable income after paying your basic bills, you fail. If your income is above the state median and you lack sufficient disposable income, you may pass. If your income is below the current state median income level, you pass.

Knowing when divorce is in your best interest

When you struggle to get along with your spouse, when you've already gone to couples counseling, when you've worked to stay calm and when you can no longer fight it; divorce is your best option. But, what if you aren't quite sure if divorce is your best option? Below, you will find the most common signs that divorce is in the best interest of the marriage and you as an individual spouse.

Has your spouse's ideas of the marriage or a family changed? If so, it is time for a divorce. Many couples discuss their future together prior to getting married. Often, it involves starting a family. When one spouse changes their mind about children it can often lead to divorce.

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Stewart, McArdle, Sorice, Whalen, Farrell, Finoli & Cavanaugh, LLC

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229 South Maple Avenue
Greensburg, PA 15601

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