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Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Tips in filing for divorce

Greenburg residents who are thinking about divorce may wonder how they go about filing. A person in this situation might want to talk to an attorney because every situation is different and it may be important to take care of some things early on, but many elements of divorce are similar.

For example, in order to set the divorce in motion, one person must file a petition and summons. A person might also want to consult an attorney about issues such as child custody and finances. The other spouse receives the summons and is supposed to file a response. If either person decides at this point to hire an attorney, that attorney may be found through recommendations from friends or online reviews.

Education, age when marrying among factors in divorce risk

Many studies have examined various factors that predict whether a couple is more likely to get a divorce. For example, Pennsylvania couples who did not finish high school are more likely to divorce than those with more education are. This could be related to stress due to a lower income.

However, a lower income does not appear to be a factor in couples where the husband works part time instead of full time. A husband with only a part-time job still increases the likelihood of divorce, so this could be related to the perception that the husband should be the breadwinner. Couples with large age gaps or got married in their teens or after the age of 32 also have a higher chance of divorce. The late 20s appears to be the best time to get married to lower the divorce risk.

Ending a marriage doesn't have to mean failure

Many Pennsylvania spouses try hard to fix a marriage that is beset with difficulties. Whether they are also parents of a child or simply want to try harder to save a lifelong commitment, many people put in draining work to keep their marriage intact. Sometimes that work in counseling or changed behavior pays off and couples stay together. For others, however, divorce can be a better option for each partner's happiness and future.

The concept of a "failed marriage" may keep couples together even when they would both prefer to be apart. This can also be the case for social pressures to show dedication to the partnership or celebrate their years together. However, people can reexamine the concept of a failed relationship. Sharing love, even when it ends, does not need to be considered a failure, just a stage of life that is subject to change and development.

Living wills vs healthcare power of attorneys

There are quite a few factors to consider and put into place for your estate plan. Most are familiar with a will, but some may not be aware that a living will is different, and even fewer may know a healthcare power of attorney also covers a different set of aspects.

For your estate plan to provide the best possible directives, it is important that you understand the various elements. There are a few key factors that help to distinguish the living will from the healthcare power of attorney.

Couples who meet through online dating can be happier

As smartphones and tablets have exploded in popularity and made online connection an unavoidable aspect of daily life, online dating has become a popular way for Pennsylvania couples to meet. There are a large number of websites and specialized apps to help people make a love connection online, from Tinder to OKCupid to Match.

Online dating may have a reputation for promoting a shopping mentality toward relationships. However, academic research has shown that relationships formed by online dating can lead to happier marriages with lower divorce rates and partnerships with a higher rate of satisfaction than those formed through traditional social networks of family, friends, co-workers or classmates.

Situations that may lead to divorce

Some couples in Pennsylvania might wonder whether or not they should seek a divorce. While some toxic scenarios may be obvious, it can be harder for people who are in the marriage to see how bad things have gotten over time. For example, one possible reason for a divorce is if the spouse is verbally and emotionally abusive. In some cases, one might not notice how bad a situation is until the spouse begins abusing their child.

A person married to a spouse who refuses treatment for an addiction might also want a divorce. In many cases, the addicted spouse will promise to get treatment. If the spouse keeps lapsing, however, a person may decide it is no longer possible for the marriage to continue.

Child support biggest reason for wage garnishment

From child support to consumer debt, there are a variety of reasons why an employee's wages may be garnished in Pennsylvania. Regardless of the cause, however, garnishment can have deep repercussions in a person's life as well as on the company that employs them.

The ADP Research Institute recently studied wage garnishment in the U.S. and how factors such as location, company size and industry affect a company's compliance with garnishment laws. The study focused on four garnishment areas: child support, bankruptcy, tax levies and other debt such as student loans or consumer debt. Throughout the U.S., 7 percent of workers have wage garnishment, but 71 percent of those individuals are men. Furthermore, 12 percent of workers with wage garnishments have multiple types of garnishments.

How does the court look at child custody modification?

In the state of Pennsylvania, the court will always put your child’s best interests first in any matter concerning custody.

If you have a valid reason for modifying your original child custody agreement, the court will take several factors into consideration before approving your request. Here are four reasons for wanting to modify your current custody arrangement that the court will usually look upon favorably:

Avoid financial pitfalls in divorce

Pennsylvania couples who are ending their marriage often have to deal with different types of stress. Not only is it emotionally difficult, but it can wreak havoc on their finances. However, there are steps they can take to avoid common money mistakes and come through the divorce process in good financial shape.

One of the biggest financial mistakes divorcing people make is trying to keep a house that they can no longer afford. While it may be comforting to hold on to a familiar home, it may be financially unfeasible. Even if one spouse is offered the house in exchange for other assets, such as a retirement account, it may be a bad deal due to the expense of maintaining the property. Experts also advise divorcing individuals to carefully consider taxes as they divide assets. For example, a $50,000 401(k) account is not equal to a $50,000 bank account because there are tax ramifications when money is withdrawn from a retirement account.

How divorce impacts a person's tax status

When Pennsylvania couples get divorced, it may have an impact on their tax status. One of those changes revolves around their filing status. The IRS considers the divorce to occur in the tax year in which the marriage officially ends. For instance, if the divorce was official before the end of 2017, an individual could not use the married filing jointly or married filing single statuses.

While some may qualify for head of household status, most will file as single after the divorce becomes official. If a divorcing couple had children, only one parent is allowed to claim the dependent exemption. Tax law says that the custodial parent claims it by default. However, an agreement may be reached that allows the noncustodial parent to claim it. Furthermore, only one parent is allowed to claim the child tax credit, and only the person who got the house in a divorce may claim a mortgage interest deduction.

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