Law Offices of Lisa Standish

Pittsburgh Family Law Blog

Divorce: Are legal issues affecting your children's health?

Many Pennsylvania households include children who are trying to adapt to new lifestyles. When parents decide to divorce, their decisions have significant impacts on their children's lives. Not only is it important to try to keep legal stress to a minimum for financial reasons and other adult-related matters, it is also critical to help kids cope in as healthy a manner as possible.

On the contrary, children may experience numerous adverse effects during or following their parents' marital break-up. In fact, some children complain of headaches, tummy aches or other adverse physical health conditions that are closely connected to their parents' situations. Especially when a divorce is contentious, constant arguing, battling things out in court and other issues can definitely have a negative effect children's health.

Understanding Pennsylvania divorce laws regarding assets

Legally severing marital ties is typically not without its challenges. When a Pennsylvania resident files a petition to divorce, he or she must resolve many issues regarding property division and, perhaps, child custody, alimony or other matters. It is wise to seek clarification of state laws before heading to court.

This state operates under equitable property rules, as most states do. This means that the judge overseeing a particular case will ultimately determine a fair split of all property acquired during marriage. The split will not necessarily be 50/50. In some circumstances, marital property is considered separately owned in Pennsylvania.

Does your divorce plan include specific terms for summer time?

Many Pennsylvania parents get a bit stressed out when the school year begins to wind down and they must think ahead to their summer plans. For parents who work full time outside the home, finding safe, affordable ways to occupy their kids for summer can be quite challenging. In cases of divorce, it can be even more stressful, especially if parents neglect to incorporate specific summer time terms into their co-parenting plans.

There are several ways to keep stress levels to a minimum during summer months. Many of these ideas are applicable for custodial parents as well as those who are spending time with their kids via a visitation schedule. What's most important, of course, is to keep children's best interests in mind and to be willing to cooperate as co-parents so that the needs of all involved are fulfilled.

Jeff Bezos' ex is happy about her divorce settlement

Most Pittsburgh residents are not billionaires. However, a married couple in this city and other Pennsylvania regions may currently be preparing for a high-asset divorce. Those who are may want to review the recent Jeff Bezos case. Founder of and father of four, the richest man in the world has finally achieved what he and his ex, MacKenzie, say is a fair and agreeable settlement as they each leave the past behind and move on to new, separate lifestyles.

Pennsylvania is an equitable property state, meaningĀ marital assets are not necessarily split 50/50 in divorce. A judge can make such decisions on a case-by-case basis. Any number of issues may influence his or her ruling, such as whether or not a couple has children, whether or not they signed a prenuptial agreement before their wedding day and whether or not both spouses earned full-time incomes during marriage.

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.

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