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Helping a preschooler through a divorce

Pennsylvania residents who are planning a divorce and who have kids between the ages of two and four should learn how best to help their children during this transition. Such assistance begins from the moment that a child is told about their parents' divorce.

If at all possible, both parents should break the news about their divorce to their kids together in a family-style meeting. This allows moms and dads to present a united front which generally results in a greater sense of security for children. During this conversation, no blame should be assigned to anyone especially the children. Instead, the choice to live separately should be positioned as one made by both adults for the good of the family.

In Pennsylvania divorce, property split isn’t 50/50

Divorce is a complicated process both emotionally and financially. One of the more heated topics couples face is how they’re going to divide their property.

The standard for property division in Pennsylvania is “equitable distribution”, which means that property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. Some states divide property between the spouses 50/50, but Pennsylvania is not one of them. Each case is handled individually based on the circumstances, so a result will be relative.

Gray divorce and your health

If you are like most people in Pennsylvania, you are well aware of the fact that getting divorced can sting financially. The mere reality that you and your spouse must split your marital assets alone makes that very evident. Add to that the fact that you must support two separate households on what you previously supported one household with and the financial challenges associated with a divorce only grow.

According to U.S. News and World Report, it is not only your finances that can be affected when you get divorced, especially if you are older than 50. Your health may also suffer when you get divorced and this might only exacerbate other problems for you.

How should you navigate your first post-divorce holiday?

Divorce brings with it many complications, especially when you have children. If you recently obtained a Pennsylvania divorce, you may be feeling down and more than a little lost. Fortunately for you, MSN Lifestyle provides a few tips for coping with the holidays post-divorce.

The author of the post, a divorcee herself, assures readers that while spending the holidays without your kids is never going to be easy, it does get easier. However, to get to that "easier" point, you need to be willing to create new traditions and to enlist concrete coping mechanisms. One such coping mechanism is to resist the urge to be stubborn.

What makes stepparent adoption different?

As a stepparent in Pennsylvania, there are many reasons why you may wish to adopt the children your spouse has from a previous relationship. While stepparent adoption is quite common, the process is a little bit different than it would be if you were adopting a child previously unknown to you, more complicated in some ways and less complicated in others.

According to FindLaw, one of the most important steps in a stepparent adoption is to obtain the consent of the child's other birth parent. The only situations in which this step is not required are when the other birth parent is no longer living or when the law no longer recognizes the other birth parent's parental rights. By consenting to your adoption of your stepchild, the other birth parent forfeits all parental rights and responsibilities. Some birth parents may be reluctant to consent to this, complicating the adoption process. 

Do I get a tax deduction for paying child support?

If you and your spouse in Pennsylvania are considering a divorce or maybe are already in the midst of your divorce negotiations, you will no doubt have many questions about how the ultimate settlement will affect you financially. In addition to living on a lower income and maybe having to move, you will want to understand the potential tax implications of some of the decisions that may be part of your final agreement.

In addition to your property division agreement, you might find yourself ordered to pay child support to your former spouse. The amount of support may vary based on multiple factors but in addition to making the regular payments, you will also need to pay federal income tax on the money you pay out.

Pennsylvania divorces to see big changes

The holiday season is often a time when couples in Pennsylvania experiencing marital challenges work extra hard to hold their families together. Some people use this season to correct their paths and try to save their marriages altogether. Other people may agree that they will get divorced but choose to hold off initiating that process until the holidays are over. This year, however, may be very different as couples might have an unusual incentive to complete their divorces before the New Year is ushered in.

As Bloomberg explains, any divorce settlement that might include provisions for one person paying alimony to the other may be best finalized in 2018. Starting in January, the new tax law that was passed earlier this year will go into full effect and will change the way alimony is taxed.

Managing child custody exchanges

You may view your divorce as the end of your association with your ex-spouse, yet in reality, they may continue to remain a major part of your life (especially if you have children together). That can be particularly problematic, however, if there is a history of domestic violence between you. Concerns over the fear of continuing abuse are often echoed by those who come to see us here at Palange, Endres & Marks, P.C. While you can try to limit your contact with your abusive ex-spouse, fulfilling a child custody obligation might put you in situations where you are forced to again deal with them face-to-face. 

Fortunately, the court realizes the inherent danger present in such encounters, and thus can take measures in order to avoid them. Per the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a child custody order granted in cases where domestic violence has been an issue can (and should) include details about the specific times and locations of custody exchanges. Such details can mitigate the risks that come with such encounters. The courts can also mandate that all custody exchanges be supervised. Such exchanges are often ordered to occur at visitation center, where staff is on hand specifically to ensure that the exchange with your ex-spouse goes smoothly. 

Figuring out your financials after divorce

Going through a divorce is difficult, but many people do not realize that life after divorce can be tough too. This is a new chapter in your life with many adjustments and changes to think about. Dealing with and figuring out your financials can be especially hard to handle.

This new financial situation can be hard to navigate and there are many elements you should consider. Here are four steps you can take in order to begin managing your new financial circumstances.

How is a parenting plan used by the court?

When you get divorced, the court in Pennsylvania has you develop a parenting plan, which outlines your visitation and custody agreement with your ex-spouse. This plan can be very helpful to everyone to ensure there are no misunderstandings or issues when it comes to your children. The court uses it to ensure that the situation is in the best interests of your children.

According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the court will order you to have specific details in your parenting plan. The court may also add additional requirements as it sees fit based on your situation. The main goal is to end custody and visitation disputes and get you to work together with your children's other parent. The plan also helps the court to make its final ruling on custody and visitation. It can show the court how eager you both are to work together for what is best for your children.

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