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Make holidays as stress-free as possible

During the holiday season, there is plenty of stress to go around. One area that you have some measure of control over is matters related to your child. Even if you and your child's other parent are divorced, it is still possible to make decisions that keep the stress level minimal.

If your child will take the gifts that you give to the other parent's house, try to avoid buying gifts just because you think they will annoy the other parent. Not only can this help to keep issues between you and your ex down, it can also help your child since he or she won't get into trouble for playing with a toy that annoys the other parent.

Make choices about divorce in Pennsylvania

Going through a divorce is something that you really need to make a plan for. You have to think about how you will divvy up assets and debts to ensure that you have a good handle on what is going on. We can help you to learn about how Pennsylvania laws apply to your case.

There are many things that you have to consider. Some of these can be hashed out during mediation or even in a trial. When you are trying to figure out who is going to get what, try to keep your emotional attachment to the items out of the picture. You need to think practically about what getting specific items will mean to you.

New state law shortens waiting period for no-fault divorce

Pennsylvania has had no-fault divorce since 1980. That was the year that it reformed its divorce code, which had been in place since colonial days. The initial waiting period for a no-fault divorce was three years. That was lowered to two years in 1988.

Now a new law, which takes effect before the end of the year, reduces that wait time to one year. Couples are required to live apart for a year before an affidavit for divorce can be filed.

Long-distance parenting might need virtual visitation

For parents, the one facet of divorce that might feel like a punch in the gut is the child custody issue. That issue can be especially troubling if you or your child's other parent isn't going to remain in the area. In that case, determining how the child can remain in contact with both parents must be a priority in the child custody case. Technology might just be the answer for some parents.

Virtual visitation is an option for letting a parent and child communicate when it isn't possible to do so in person. This might be the case if one parent is in the military and deployed. It could also be the case if the parents of the child don't live close to each other and the distance is too far to shuttle the child back and forth frequently.

Keep your focus during property division negotiations

The property division laws in Pennsylvania were the focus of one of our recent blog posts. For people who are going through a property division case during a divorce, this process can be challenging. We know that it is easy for you to let your emotions take over when you are dealing with how to divide the things you have worked so hard for over the years. That isn't always the best thing when you are negotiating how this will be done.

We can help you think about how each proposal that is made might affect you. It is important that you consider how each property division option can help you now, but you must also think about how it might affect you in the future.

Understanding marital property laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law is a bit different than some other states when it comes to property division during a divorce. This state doesn't recognize community property; however, there is the concept of marital property that comes into the picture.

Marital property is anything that was acquired or earned after the marriage. In a divorce, this property won't usually be divided in an even 50-50 split. Instead, marital property in Pennsylvania is divided using equitable distribution, which is what is considered just and fair, not what is considered even.

Pregnancy, unmarried fathers and their rights

Fathers have some unique challenges when it comes to dealing with a woman who is pregnant with his child. Almost everyone is familiar with the emotional woman who demands ice cream and pickles in the middle of the night, but that isn't the drama that a man might have to deal with if he isn't in a relationship with the pregnant woman any longer.

A man who isn't married to the woman carrying his child might be shocked to know that men have very little say about what happens to the baby while the woman is pregnant. Because the unborn child lives within the mother, the mother's wishes are almost always followed when it comes to medical care.

Children, not parents, are the focus of child custody cases

Your children are precious parts of your life. If you are like most parents, you want to spend as much time as you can with your children. Going through a divorce means that you might have to deal with a child custody order that tells you when you can see your children.

We know that you probably have some concerns about what is going to happen when you have to go to court for the child custody order. The good news is that you might be able to work with your ex to come up with the agreement. In most cases, that is the best thing to do because you and your ex know your child. The two of you know what your child needs. The two of you know your child's schedule. That makes it a bit easier to come up with an agreement that meets your child's needs.

Does when you were married affect your divorce?

Every couple has disagreements and issues that come up over the course of the marriage, sometimes more than once. Some things, such as money woes, infidelity or disagreements over how to raise the children, have been shown to increase your divorce risk. However, a new study out of Harvard University has found that when you got married may play a part in determining what is more likely to lead to divorce.

The study followed more than 6,000 couples from 1968 to 2013. According to the findings, published in the American Sociological Review, couples who were married prior to 1975 were more likely to have marital problems related to housework and the wives' contributions to the upkeep of the home. Those married after 1975, however, were more likely to experience problems when the husband was not employed.

Gray divorce rates continue to increase

While many people think of bitter custody battles when they think of divorce, this isn't always the case. Gray divorce is the term used for divorce that involve those aged 50 or over. These late-in-life divorces have continued to increase, with the divorce rate for those in this age group having doubled from 1990 to 2010.

This is particularly noteworthy because, overall, divorce rates in the United States have dropped within that same period. While divorce rates increased dramatically in the 70s and 80s, when it became more socially acceptable, current divorce rates are lower and have generally leveled off.

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