Law Offices of Lisa Standish

Pittsburgh Family Law Blog

Effective guidance and strong support helpful in divorce

When you go through a challenging time in life, it often helps to have someone, such as a close friend or loved one, to lean on and to turn to for support. Even the most trying circumstances can often be made less stressful just by not having to go it alone. This is especially true in divorce, which many Pennsylvania residents will likely go through before 2019 ends.

Ending a marriage in court can be emotionally traumatic, particularly if children are involved. There are also any number of issues that may arise, including but not limited to those involving finances, property division, custody and alimony. If you or your spouse happen to own a business, that can make proceedings even more complex.

Divorce: Priority issues for co-parenting agreements

When couples end their marriages, they typically want to keep matters out of the court as much as possible. When a Pennsylvania spouse decides to divorce, he or she doesn't wish to get caught up in a seemingly endless round of litigation sessions. Many people can't afford to take all that time off work, and they really just want to devise a solid plan that settles all the important issues, such as those involving co-parenting.

A benefit of writing a co-parenting agreement without going to court is that parents themselves are the ones making the decisions. Both spouses must be willing to cooperate. If they disagree on a particular issue, they must be willing to negotiate, compromise and search for common ground.

Collaborative law divorce is less expensive than litigation

Pittsburgh residents currently planning to file for divorce no doubt want to keep their costs as low as possible. Ending a marriage typically sparks financial challenges, sometimes related to child support or property division, but also often in connection with court fees and other litigation expenses. A collaborative law divorce can help keep costs in check.

Collaboration is definitely not for everyone. Those entangled in contentious situations may be better off litigating the issues before a judge. If the spouses involved get along well enough to engage in civil discussion to resolve issues pertaining to finances, property taxes, and child-related matters, then a collaborative law divorce might be a viable option. In addition to costing less, it allows a spouse to maintain a sense of control over the ultimate legal outcome.

Children are central focus of Tom Arnold's fourth divorce

Current data show that people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere who have ended their marriages then remarried are prone to similar outcomes in their subsequent relationships. Hollywood star Tom Arnold's current situation may be evidence that such data are correct, as he is navigating litigation regarding a divorce from his fourth wife. The central focus of these proceedings are a bit different from anything Arnold has experienced in the past because he and his current wife have two children, and they apparently disagree about how custody should be arranged.

Arnold's wife moved out of the family home some time ago. However, she reportedly did not take her children with her. Arnold says he was hoping the judge overseeing their case would grant them shared custody of the kids, ages 3 and 5.

Divorce issues that may prompt supervised visitation orders

Many Pennsylvania families will encounter difficult challenges when parents decide to end their marriages in court. It is not uncommon for divorce issues to arise that prompt parents to seek the court's intervention to resolve. Child custody and visitation are typically high priority issues where a judge's discretion may be needed to set forth restricted terms meant to keep children safe at all times.

What are some of the reasons a judge may order supervised visitation? It is not likely to occur if a parent simply tells the court that he or she does not trust his or her co-parent. Evidence must be shown to convince the court that unsupervised visits would somehow be detrimental to children's emotional, physical or mental well-being.

Did filing for divorce spark a pet dispute?

Pennsylvania parents who decide to end their marriages must negotiate fair and agreeable settlements that include terms regarding the care and upbringing of their children. One of the main issues to be resolved in such situations is which parent will have physical custody of the kids. Sometimes, the court decides that a shared custody arrangement is best; other times, a judge may deem a parent unfit. In recent years, the subject of pets has made its way into custody proceedings in divorce.

In the past, pet care has typically been included in property division proceedings. However, more and more often nowadays, disputes regarding which spouse will own a dog, cat or other pet have been litigated as custody issues. The Pittsburgh Post- Gazette recently published a story about a woman who refused to accept compensation in exchange for allowing her ex to take her pet, a dog that she said her spouse had given to her as a Christmas present.

Guidance and support: Key factors toward amicable divorce

Deciding to end a marriage is definitely one of the most intensely personal choices of a lifetime. Many Pennsylvania spouses will file for divorce in 2019 and beyond. Some will choose mediation or collaborative law to negotiate their settlements; others will determine a need for litigation.

Regardless of the exact details of a particular situation, it is always a good idea to rely on experienced legal support when achieving a peaceful, fair settlement is the goal. If you have children, you may encounter various challenges regarding your co-parenting plan, including issues concerning child support, custody or visitation. If you and your spouse agree on most topics, you may be able to devise a plan outside of court and submit your proposal to the judge overseeing your case, for his or her approval.

Key factors judges consider re child support decisions in divorce

As 2018 nears its end, many Pennsylvania parents will be among those seeking to end their marriages. Divorce is never easy, and issues -- such as child custody, visitation or support -- can complicate matters. As recently mentioned in previous posts on this blog, parents often petition the court to request lower child support payments.

Parents concerned with lowering child support payments should know that there are typically two main factors judges overseeing such cases will consider when deciding monthly payment amounts. Such factors include each parent's income, as well as the percentages of parenting time. The latter can be tricky to determine, however, because a lot of noncustodial parent spend a lot more parenting time with their kids than they may realize.

Retired NBA star seeks child support change after divorce

Matt Barnes enjoyed a successful career in the NBA for nearly 15 years. Pennsylvania basketball fans may remember when he retired in 2017. Some may also have followed his divorce from Gloria Govan, who starred on reality TV show "Basketball Wives." The two have been entangled in a dispute over child support for their two sons.  

Barnes recently welcomed another child into the world from another mother. Since his divorce, he'd been paying $20,000 per month in child support. However, he recently filed a petition in court, requesting modification of the existing plan, stating that he can no longer afford to meet the payments.  

Important information regarding taxes and divorce

Most households in Pennsylvania need 50 percent or more of their income just to make ends meet. In families that include a primary breadwinner rather than dual, full-time incomes, deciding to divorce may mean that a major financial adjustment is pending. In addition to considering how much money it will take to start afresh as a single person, anyone who plans on filing for physical custody of his or her children will also have much to consider regarding financial care of the kids.

Day-to-day finances are a high-priority consideration in most divorces. There are also several issues having to do with taxes that may have significant impact on a particular situation. For instance, those settling a divorce after the last day of 2018 will be subject to new rules under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

Town Centre Suite 212A
10475 Perry Highway
Wexford, PA 15090

Toll Free: 800-596-4691
Phone: 412-944-2204
Fax: 724-719-6013
Map & Directions

  • Avvo clients choice 2015 Divorce
  • Avvo clients choice 2015 Meditation
  • Avvo Rating 10 Superb Top Attorney Divorce
  • Super Lawyers
  • Lead Counsel LC Rated
  • CLASP | Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania