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Monroeville Family Law Blog

Does social media affect a high asset divorce?

Social media has changed our lives over the last couple of decades. It makes it easy for any resident in Pennsylvania to make connections to people on one's street of residence and as far away as another continent. Because of what appears to be happy pictures posted on social media and people typically enjoying their best moments, many might consider social media to only have a positive impact on people's lives. One attorney in another state claims that social media is often a factor in a high asset divorce and therefore might be a negative impact on many people's lives. 

The attorney, while being interviewed about a book he recently wrote, stated his opinion on how he thought social media is affecting marriages. He stated that, in many cases of divorce, social media sharing and communication with others on social media very often factor into a divorce. The attorney further explained that cases that are not impacted by social media are rare. 

2019 tax changes to affect high asset divorce negotiations

There are many things to consider when contemplating a divorce. Individuals often worry about where to live, finances, relationships and custody of children following a high asset divorce. In addition to how a divorce will affect their daily lives and routine, individuals in Pennsylvania must now consider how a divorce will affect their taxes.

As anticipated for more than a year, new tax laws affecting alimony will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019. The laws will change how alimony is taxed or how it is not taxed. For decades, alimony was tax deductible for the payer, but it was taxed for the receiver. Alimony is no longer tax deductible for the payer, but receivers do not have to pay taxes on alimony income anymore.

Are women happier after a divorce?

A 2017 article in LiveAbout online magazine seems to indicate they are. The article references a 2013 study done by Kingston University in England.

After querying 10,000 people aged 16-60 over a two-year period the results were conclusive: Women were definitely happier after a divorce. Especially in the first five years following the divorce. The researchers surmised that the women had entered unhappy marriages and when the marriage ended felt a long-lasting sense of liberation.

Child custody agreements can be difficult through holidays

Pennsylvania parents may find comfort in learning about Nicole Curtis' experience with the father of her son over the recent Thanksgiving holiday. She and the father of her son have recently come to an agreement on child custody of their 3-year-old son, of whom they currently share custody. Curtis claims that her son's father is not flexible with holiday time with their son.

Nicole Curtis is known for her home renovation show called "Rehab Addict" on the HGTV and DIY networks. She is a single mom of two boys, and she recently finalized a custody agreement for her youngest son with his father. She and her son's father, Shane Maguire, have never been legally married and have not been a couple for quite some time.

A high asset divorce over the age of 50 may be complicated

Divorces among couples over the age of 50 have increased in the last 20 years in Pennsylvania and across the country. These so-called gray divorces often involve couples who have been married for decades. Among the many issues to consider in a high asset divorce are the possibility of spousal support and the division of retirement funds and other martial assets.

Because of the assets couples typically have accumulated over the years, gray divorce negotiations can be complicated. Retirement accounts often take on increased significance in these circumstances. An experienced family law attorney can seek a Qualified Domestic Relations Order and file it with the retirement plan administrator. Consideration as to who will be designated the surviving beneficiary will also need to be addressed. 

Child custody: Is living together after a divorce confusing?

As portrayed on the hit cable television show, "Splitting Up Together," some divorcing couples are choosing to live together following a divorce when a couple shares children. Reasons vary for Pennsylvania parents choosing to bird nest, including finances, convenience with sharing child custody and little disruption of a child's daily routine. A woman in another state recently wrote how her parent's living arrangements following their divorce impacted her over the years.

Her parents divorced when she was 6 years old, but they all remained in the same house for 10 years. Understandably, the woman found the living situation difficult to explain to her friends. She states that she ultimately explained it as complicated the majority of the time, which it was in her eyes. 

Are fathers' rights always considered in custody cases?

A reporter recently interviewed many fathers, a family law attorney and a judge to understand if fathers and mothers have equal rights when it involves the custody of children. Statistics of parents who are not living together indicate that 80 percent of custodial parents in Pennsylvania and all across America are mothers. The reporter asked experts multiple questions and for tips on how to ensure that fathers' rights were considered in custody cases.

Many fathers struggle to balance life, careers and paying court-ordered custody payments. Although many fathers desire to provide for their children, some fathers may run into career and life changes that may make it difficult to make payments. Although it may be tempting to make no payments in these circumstances or to save money by not hiring an attorney, experts recommend hiring an attorney to inform a judge of circumstance changes. In addition, it is recommended that some payment is made instead of no payments because a judge can sentence a father to jail time if child support is not paid.

Child custody: Couple seeks divorce but lives together

Couples in Pennsylvania and all across the country have chosen to attempt a living arranging called bird nesting during and after a divorce. The trend is often appealing to parents who believe they can amicably co-parent following a divorce. When couples decide to bird nest, the family home continues to be shared for a period of time following a divorce to allow children to have a consistent home and be the least disrupted by a divorce. Couples execute the concept of bird nesting in different ways, including reality television housewife Gina Kirschenheiter of the "Real Housewives of Orange County."

Gina and her husband, Matt, filed for divorce earlier this year. The couple shares three children, ages five, four and two. Reportedly, the couple's house was listed for sale earlier this year, but the house was taken off the market before it sold.

Child custody: Expert offers advice on how to help children cope

There are a lot of things to take into consideration when contemplating divorce. Individuals often worry about finances, living circumstances and the well-being of their children. Parents in Pennsylvania may be interested in Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg's book, "Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings." Several principles may help parents assist their children through expected changes that come with divorce and child custody.

According to Dr. Ginsburg, raising a child to have certain life skills can help them adjust when life changes occur. The skills are called the "7 Cs of Resilience" and can be effective for multiple different stresses that children may encounter. The skills include competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control.

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