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Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

GPS tracking, spyware an issue in some divorce cases

Some people in Pennsylvania who are getting a divorce might experience stalking from an ex. When the Department of Justice did a study in 2012 of stalking, it found that around 1.5 percent of adults had experienced it. However, 3.3 percent of people who had been divorced or separated had also been stalked.

One woman's ex-husband always seemed to know where she was when she went out of town. Initially, she thought he might have hired a private investigator, but she saw no signs of one. When she took her car to be serviced, she asked the mechanic to check it for GPS trackers, and one was found. However, when the woman reported it to police, they said there was nothing they could do because her husband was still an owner of the car. The battery usage showed that it had been installed in just the last few weeks even though the split happened almost a year ago. The woman also believed that tracking software had been installed on her phone, but when she took it into a store, the staff replaced the phone for her. Therefore, she had no evidence.

Protecting credit while going through divorce

Divorce can present an array of challenges and concerns for people in Pennsylvania whose marriages are coming to an end. The personal and emotional effects of divorce can be quite daunting before approaching the financial aspects. Because a divorce legally severs the marital partnership, it can affect an array of financial accounts and records. One concern is often how divorcing individuals can preserve their valuable high credit scores when going through a divorce.

Divorce doesn't mean that both parties' credit scores have to tumble, and being prepared to protect one's credit during divorce can help to ease the transition further. For example, if the marital home is going to be dealt with by transferring it into one person's name, it may require a mortgage refinance. This will require the person taking ownership of the house to assume a large debt in their own name, no longer shared. It will involve a hard credit inquiry although it won't necessarily reduce their creditworthiness.

Key facts about Pennsylvania's inheritance tax

Many people want to take care of their loved ones, even after they are long gone. A proper estate plan can help in those efforts.

For individuals who inherit parts of an estate in Pennsylvania, there is an inheritance tax. There are a few key facts that they should know about this tax.

Plan for the unexpected

When developing an estate plan, it's important to consider all possible situations. Although joint tenancy with survivorship is suitable for many married couples, it doesn't address every case and may leave surviving spouses to deal with Westmoreland County probate or risk the property being transferred to the wrong person.

Transferring property may become challenging when one spouse dies unexpectedly while the other is incapacitated. Since the incapacitated spouse cannot make financial decisions on their own, the court may need to appoint a guardian to handle the transfer of property. If the estate plan doesn't account for this situation, the incapacitated spouse and heirs may not receive all of the marital assets intended for them.

Parental alienation can cut parent-child bonds

Divorce can often be difficult for children and parents in Pennsylvania. Dealing with questions of child custody, support and parenting plans can be some of the more challenging and emotional issues that come with the end of a marriage. While it is best if divorcing parents can put their personal issues aside, this does not always happen. Combative divorces can lead to one parent pressuring children to take sides in a harmful way.

Parental alienation is when a child is directed against one of their parents by the other parent in a significant or extreme way. This can happen regardless of the gender or even the child custody status of the targeting parent.

How to deal with a divorce in December

When parents in Pennsylvania divorce during the holiday season, it can color the family's perception of this time of year indefinitely. For a child, it may be stressful spending time with multiple families because of an arrangement that their parents made. However, embracing family could help some to regain their holiday cheer.

Spending time alone during the holidays is not healthy for those who have just gotten divorced. Therefore, parents should be as accommodating as possible when it comes to allowing their children to spend time with as many family members as possible. Even if a parent doesn't like his or her former spouse, the child shouldn't suffer because of it.

Choosing the right divorce team

There are many issues that divorcing couples in Pennsylvania may have to address. The financial impact of a separation can be just as devastating as the emotional and psychological effects. Therefore, it is important for divorcing spouses to have the counsel of professionals who are able to provide pertinent advice throughout the process. The right divorce team can mean the difference between a bitter and civilized separation.

For starters, one's attorney should have the necessary experience. It is also helpful to have a financial advisor with relevant experience addressing matrimonial situations. The addition of a therapist who has experience treating individuals in the middle of a legal separation or divorce may also be helpful.

Key considerations for your estate plan in Pennsylvania

You want to make sure that you are providing for your loved ones, even after you are gone. A sound estate plan may help to create that security.

It is important to know the various aspects of an estate plan and the benefits of each so that you may compose the best plan for your situation. There are a few key considerations for an estate plan in Pennsylvania.

Retired divorcing couples have unique concerns

For Pennsylvania couples at or approaching retirement age, the rate of divorce has escalated, especially as people lead longer, healthier and more active lives. The divorce rate for couples in the United States has seen an overall decline, but for couples over 50 years of age, the rate has continued to grow consistently since 1987. In total, the rate has grown in that time by over 50 percent, and one out of four couples makes the decision to divorce after age 50. This decision can be escalated as retirement approaches and couples have an "empty nest" after their adult children leave the home.

For people who have already retired or are close to doing so, a divorce can cause a number of severe impacts. This is especially true when it comes to the division of assets, properties and debts. Many older couples that have spent many years together have complicated and intertwined financial lives as well as savings on which both individuals are planning to live after retirement. These types of assets can include real estate, pension plans, investments, stocks, retirement savings accounts, 401(k) plans and other valuable belongings. In addition, other types of finances, like social security and life insurance, can also be a factor in a divorce.

Pros and cons of staying together for the children

People in Greenburg who are getting a divorce might want to consider the effect it could have on their children. Children whose parents divorce are at a greater risk of getting a divorce themselves. They may also be more likely to suffer emotional problems and less likely to go to college. However, there are circumstances in which divorce might be a better solution.

For example, parents may be unable to hide their conflict and unhappiness from children. Children pick up on this stress, and it is stressful for them as well. If parents have been through counseling and find they simply cannot get along, it may be better for the entire family if they get a divorce. Abuse is another red flag that a marriage should come to an end.

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