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Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Spouses can maintain their mental health in divorce mediation

Navigating a marital dissolution can be tricky no matter how long or short of a time two people have been married. This is true whether two divorcing spouses choose to go through divorce mediation or proceed to trial. Here is a glimpse at what those going through divorce in Pennsylvania can do to maintain their emotional and mental health during this process.

First, it is important that the two parties treat each other as fairly as possible when discussing how to divide debts and assets. In the heat of the moment, it is easy for feuding future exes to get caught up in securing more money, furniture or motor vehicles than the other party does. However, the reality is that in 10 years from now, those extra material possessions will not necessarily make either party any happier. What will make them happy is the fact that they stood up for themselves but, at the same time, were fair during the property division process.

Are divorce and college incompatible?

Ending a marriage is not easy, especially when there are many different issues to consider. Pennsylvania parents often have to consider not only their own needs and wants, but also those of their children. Although most parents do their best, a recent study indicated that some may need to focus a little more closely on their children's future educational opportunities when going through the divorce. 

University researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, which included 15 years of information. The study had collected regular information from a group starting when they were young, and participants were all between the ages of 26 and 32 when the study ended. The researchers discovered that 27 percent of participants who had divorced parents went on to earn a bachelor's degree or something higher. Of those whose parents stayed married, 50 percent went on to earn their degree. The divide was smaller when looking at graduate or professional degrees, with 12 percent with divorced parents and 20 percent with married parents reaching this level of education. 

Divorce mediation may involve splitting children's expenses

The dissolution of a marriage is never truly easy to experience either emotionally or financially. However, it can be particularly difficult for those who have children -- and especially if their divorce takes place around the beginning of a child's school year. The question of who covers a child's expenses during the school year can easily become a major source of conflict during divorce mediation or at divorce trial in Pennsylvania.

The noncustodial parent -- the parent who does not receive physical custody of the children -- can expect to pay child support to the other parent for basic necessities, such as clothing, food and shelter. However, what about other unforeseen expenses? For instance, two divorcing parents must figure out how to cover additional expenses such as school supplies for their children and extracurricular activities, such as band and sports, or even for events such as homecoming.

Personal bankruptcy has many causes, depending on the consumer

Experiencing high amounts of debt in Pennsylvania is one of the most stressful experiences a consumer may have. In some situations, the debtor simply can find no way out of his or her debt situation. In these cases, declaring personal bankruptcy may be a wise option. Here is a rundown on several common reasons people end up needing to go to bankruptcy court.

First, some people do not update their budgets based on realistic views of their needs versus their wants and what they can afford. As a result, they never know how much they have in disposable income. They also do not know what they can borrow and then pay back quickly.

The most common reasons why people consider or seek a divorce

No two marriages are the same, and only you can say what exactly happened in yours to make you want a divorce. On the other hand, perhaps you can't quite put your finger on it except to say that time passed and you and your spouse drifted apart. If you talk to others who have ended their marriages, you might find that you share certain things in common.

It is always a good idea to talk to someone you trust to find out what he or she did to come to terms with divorcing from a significant other and successfully adapting to a new lifestyle. You can also ask about support systems and what types of resources were most helpful during this challenging time.

Property division can impact a woman's financial situation

The dissolution of a marriage in Pennsylvania can understandably be perilous from a financial standpoint. Research shows that this is especially the case for women. Here is a look at what researchers have discovered about the financial impact of divorce on women and how those tackling matters such as property division can best protect financial futures.

Back in 2008, a study indicated that divorced women see their incomes plummet by over 20 percent and then remain low. Meanwhile, divorced men actually see their incomes skyrocket by around 33 percent. However, a new research study showed that women's financial situations following divorce may not be as dire as once feared.

More older individuals turning to personal bankruptcy

Many Americans, including those in Pennsylvania and other states, find themselves facing financial problems at older ages. Research show that, since the early 1990s, the number of people filing for personal bankruptcy at 65 years of age or older has tripled. The rise in personal bankruptcy among older Americans can be linked to several factors.

First, Americans' full benefits from Social Security are not arriving as soon as they did in the past. In addition, out-of-pocket spending for medical expenses is on the rise. Furthermore, more 401(k) plans for saving for retirement are replacing company pensions. Finally, many people's incomes are dwindling.

Property division can have adverse impact on business owners

Unfortunately, not all marriages in Pennsylvania work out long term. This can be particular devastating for business owners from a financial standpoint, as they may end up losing large percentages of their business assets due to divorce property division. However, a business owner can take a few steps to keep his or her business protected in the event of divorce.

First, a business owner may want to pay himself or herself a salary that is competitive. Many company owners reinvest all they earn back into their businesses and skip paying themselves competitive salaries. However, this is a major mistake because during the divorce process, their spouses might argue that they never benefited from the businesses. As a result, the spouse of a business owner may end up receiving a bigger percentage of the company owner's venture.

Property division during divorce may involve college debt

The dissolution of a marriage may happen for a variety of reasons. However, an increasing common reason for divorce is student loan debt. In fact, it is this type of debt, along with other types of debt, that makes property division contentious during divorce proceedings in Pennsylvania.

Research shows that more than 33 percent of borrowers reported that money factors, such as college loans, played a role in their marital breakups. In fact, a total of 13 percent of people who had gone through divorce specifically blamed college loans for their divorces. Over 800 adults who had gotten divorced were surveyed back in June.

Personal bankruptcy may not hamper ability to get business loan

Sometimes, consumers determine that their dire financial situations warrant drastic action. They therefore decide to file for personal bankruptcy. The good news is that, just because people file for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania, does not mean they cannot get loans if they are aspiring entrepreneurs.

Milton Hershey, Henry Ford and Walt Disney are all examples of entrepreneurs who failed miserably before succeeding. Aspiring business owners who have filed for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- two forms of bankruptcy available to individuals -- can do the same today. The reason that bankruptcy may not necessarily hamper a person's ability to get a business loan is that lenders still want these individuals' business, so options likely exist for them.

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