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July 2017 Archives

Property division can sometimes require refinancing

Deciding what to do with the family home is one of the most difficult obstacles that many Pennsylvania couples face during their divorce. Very often, one party holds a strong desire to keep the family home, while the other is content to accept a greater share of other assets in return for the equity in the property. That arrangement may be agreeable to all parties, but it is important to understand that refinancing the home may be a necessity. Planning for that eventuality is an important part of the property division process.

Is a special needs trust the right addition to your estate plan?

Caring for a loved one with special needs is challenging at times, but one of your biggest concerns may involve how you will ensure the care of this individual when you are no longer able to provide that care yourself. With some additions to your estate plan, you can be certain that you have protections in place that will protect your family member for years to come. 

Less social stigma associated with high asset divorce

For many Pennsylvania spouses, concern over how a failed marriage might be perceived is a primary factor in postponing or delaying a divorce. No one wants to be the subject of social scorn, nor do they want their personal turmoil made public. New research suggests that divorce is not looked down upon in the way that it was decades ago. There seems to be a trend toward increasing social acceptance of divorce. That could help some spouses who are markedly unhappy but unsure about moving through a high-profile or high asset divorce.

State compels spouses to collaborate on property division, more

Many Pennsylvania spouses have heard the term "collaborative divorce," but are uncertain how that process actually plays out. Because collaboration is still outside of the norm in divorce law, many people immediately eschew it as a valid option. That is unfortunate, because there are a number of advantages to taking a collaborative approach to reaching a divorce settlement. One state has gone so far as to legislate divorce, and now requires couples to at least attempt to work out matters of child custody, property division and more on their own, outside of court.

Parents sometimes insist on prenups to protect property division

Many Pennsylvania residents enter into prenuptial negotiations because they want to go into their marriage with a clear understanding about how assets would be handled in the event of a divorce. There are cases, however, where it is not the prospective spouses but their families that insist that a prenuptial agreement be put into place prior to the marriage. That may seem like an overbearing approach, but families who take this stance do so out of concern for their loved ones, and a desire to protect against significant losses in the event that a property division process should become necessary down the line.

Pennsylvania property division: Don't forget the QDRO form

Going through a divorce? Have retirement accounts to split? Before agreeing to or submitting a property division settlement for final approval, Pennsylvania residents need to make sure that they have filled out and filed qualified domestic relations order forms. If they do not, they will only hurt themselves financially in the long run.

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