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Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Are you headed for divorce?

If your marriage in Pennsylvania is not as happy as you think it should be, it may help to look out for certain signs. These can signal a relationship is going in the wrong direction, but if caught early on, each partner can make changes to return to a happy and fulfilled union.

According to Psych Central, marriage therapists identify four main predictors of divorce, and that if couples do not fix the issues, a divorce is imminent. One predictor is that one or both spouses criticize the other's character or personality as opposed to a certain behavior. Another predictor is expressing contempt via nonverbal behavior such as using sarcasm, rolling the eyes or sneering.

How can divorced parents navigate summer vacation?

Summer break is a time for your kids to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation. Accordingly, divorced parents with shared custody must make sure that the needs of their children always come first, which can be challenging in the wake of contentious splits. Parenting offers the following tips in this case, which will help your whole family have a summer to remember. 

Let older kids have their say

How can I discourage my teen from driving distracted?

Driving distractions are a serious issue for all motorists. Even if you commit to safe driving, others around might not be on the same page. This is especially true when it comes to younger drivers, such as teens. The Balance explains why teen drivers are more likely to take risks behind the wheel, which can end in catastrophe. 

On a daily basis, up to 1,000 people are injured as a result of distracted driving behaviors. These behaviors can involve many different activities, although most people are familiar with the dangers of texting and driving. Eating behind the wheel, daydreaming, adjusting a GPS, or even carrying on a conversation with passengers are all considered distracted driving. In fact, 15% of accidents involving teens and distractions were caused by the presence of passengers in a vehicle. 

Does a child have to visit the non-custodial parent?

In most cases, it's best for the kids of divorced parents to have healthy relationships with both. However, there are times when the custodial parent may be reluctant to send their child along for court-ordered visits, especially when safety is a concern. Very Well Family explains when it's acceptable to keep your kids from court-mandated visits and what to do if you feel this is in the best interest of your child. 

For the court to decide that a parent should not have visitation, there are often extenuating circumstances at play. For example, accusations of abuse or neglect would naturally be a reason to keep your child home. You may also have concerns about your ex's living conditions and the impact they could have on your kids. While these reasons are often considered valid for the courts to withhold information, less serious issues could be overlooked. Remember, you could be held in contempt for refusing a court order if you prevent your kids from seeing your ex. When you have concerns that don't rise to the level of abuse or neglect, try speaking with your ex directly. You may be able to work out a compromise that pleases you both, whether it has to do with quality time or curfew. 

Is gifting a good alternative to probate?

Some people in Westmoreland County will try various means to avoid sending their estate through probate. One way is to simply give your beneficiaries the assets and property you want them to have before you die. It seems simple enough, but like any legal matter concerning your estate, you need to consider the pros and cons of going through with giving away your Pennsylvania property in the forms of gifts.

The reason why gifting assets avoids probate is because you are transferring ownership of your assets to another party before you die. A probate court cannot touch the assets because they are no longer part of your estate. However, gifting is not always a simple process. FindLaw explains that gifting requires some planning before you go forward with it. Even with proper preparation, unexpected events can still thwart your desires. For example, if another party has a claim on an asset you own, they may contest the transfer of ownership.

Pennsylvania inheritance tax vs. estate tax

Estate planning is critical for anyone who has Pennsylvania assets, from banking and retirement accounts to cars, jewelry and other tangible items. If you do not have a will, the state divides the assets, which may not be according to your wishes. At Bononi & Company, P.C., our team of experienced attorneys often assists clients in opening an estate and other legal issues.

Smart Asset reports that regardless of your estate’s size, it owes nothing to the state as Pennsylvania is one of 38 states with no estate tax. However, there is an inheritance tax that heirs must pay once you have passed on. The percentage owed depends on the relationship between you and your beneficiaries.

Problems to avoid during a high asset divorce

Any time a couple moves forward with the end of their marriage, tough challenges may be waiting. This is especially true in some instances, however, such as divorces involving those with a high net worth. If you are preparing for a high asset divorce, it is critical to be aware of some of the difficulties you may run into and some of the problems you should try to avoid. The way in which your divorce is handled could have a significant impact on your future, not only in terms of your finances but your emotions as well.

First of all, you should never try to rush during the divorce process. For example, you should not agree to your former spouse’s demands in an attempt to make the divorce smoother, even though agreeing to certain terms may not be in your best interests. You should also carefully review the tax implications of your divorce and how your divorce may affect your taxes during the next time you file. Property division can be an especially difficult process for those who have a high net worth, and it is critical to be fully prepared.

Substance abuse and family law concerns

From prescription medication to heroin, alcohol and other substances, there are many different addictions that people may struggle with. Substance abuse can cause a marriage to fall apart, and it can also create complications during the divorce process and after a divorce has been finalized. In this post, we will examine some relevant issues related to substance abuse, which may be especially helpful if you or your former spouse have problems related to addiction.

During a divorce, parents may disagree on how custody should be awarded, which can lead to a harsh dispute. Those with a substance abuse disorder may struggle to secure the right to have custody or visit their child. Moreover, you may be worried about your ex’s ability to raise your child because of their addiction, and these concerns should be brought up in court.

The use of surveillance in high-asset divorces

It can be the case that one or both spouses in a high asset divorce are professionally employed and enjoy a comfortable income. When divorce threatens the marriage, successful and motivated people may go all lengths to get what they want.

The two most hotly contested topics in an adversarial divorce are usually child custody and asset division.

Three reasons why business owners need a will

If you own a small business in Greensburg, you likely have put a lot of thought into how to create and run your operation. However, one thing you should not neglect is planning what happens to your business if you should suddenly pass away. As explains, it is important to compose a last will and testament early on before the unexpected occurs. While there are many important reasons for entrepreneurs to have a will ready, here are three important reasons any business owner should consider.

First, there are many business owners that have a large portion of their personal wealth in their business. So if the owner dies and the business retains no connection to the owner’s family, the survivors will suddenly have no access to that wealth. Composing a will can ensure that a family member ends up with the business, or if the owner does not find a relative that can handle the job, the owner can require the business to be sold and the family to receive a share of the sale.

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