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Cranberry Township Family Law Blog

Be mindful of divorce issues that may cause stress for your kids

In Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania and across the country, many parents will decide in 2020 that they no longer wish to remain in unhappy marriages. If you're one of them, your children's best interests are no doubt one of your greatest concerns. It's no secret that divorce has a significant impact on children, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's impossible for your kids to cope with the changes in their lives in a healthy, productive manner.

Your children will definitely be closely observing you as you navigate divorce proceedings. Kids take their cues from their parents. If you appear overly stressed, angry or worried, their own stress levels are bound to soar. On the contrary, if they believe that you are confident, and that while your lives are changing, everyone is going to be okay, they are far more likely to develop good coping skills.

Irrevocable trusts often useful for medical professionals

Those in Pittsburgh who want to set up a trust to leave behind for their loved ones after they pass may have heard about irrevocable trusts. Learning more about this type of trust can help when planning an estate.

An irrevocable trust is a type of trust that gives protections to the creator of the trust. The terms of the trust are unable to be modified after finalization. This prevents beneficiaries from changing the trust and can also protect the trust against being taken in a lawsuit. Life insurance policies, securities, cash, interest in business and real estate may all be used to fund an irrevocable trust.

Health implications of gray divorces

Divorce is an emotionally taxing process at any age that can have negative effects on your health and overall well-being. It's long been known to increase stress for prolonged periods of time. Older couples divorcing after 50 - commonly referred to as "gray divorce" - may be more at risk for an increase in health problems as a result of their marriage ending.

Surprisingly, the occurrence rate of gray divorce has doubled in the last 25 years. Maybe it's that people are living longer and choosing to leave a spouse they don't care for anymore or perhaps the marital problems seeded long ago and are just now surfacing.

Creating a parenting program can help children deal with divorce

Even though Pennsylvania has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, there are plenty of couples who choose to end their marriages every year. Those who divorce with children will have to take certain steps to be sure their family can function on a healthy level following the separation. A great way to begin the healing process is to create a well-thought-out parenting program.

When child custody is concerned, certain guidelines should be followed in the parenting program depending on the age of the children. Younger children require a set schedule, and they need to be with their primary caregiver most of the time. Constant changes in their environment and daily routine can cause distress and anxiety. However, the noncustodial parent should see the children on a regular basis each week.

Starting the year without the stress of an unhappy marriage

More people file for divorce in January than any other month. There are a couple of reasons that marriages in Pittsburg and across the country tend to end in this month as opposed to the others. In many cases, unhappy spouses wait to file for divorce until after the holidays to allow their children to end the year with happy memories. For others, divorce may be part of their New Year's resolutions.

Families often have holiday traditions, and parents may want to continue these for as long as possible. Holidays are typically happy times, so informing children, even if they are adults, that their parents are getting divorced could cast a shadow on the holiday season for years to come. Therefore, parents may wait until after the celebrations have ended to get in touch with an attorney to start the divorce process.

Learn what happens to retirement savings after divorce

Spouses who are going through a divorce may wonder how their retirement savings will be affected. While no two Pennsylvania divorces are exactly the same, there are a few basic things individuals can expect.

One of the first things that will be considered is what happened before the marriage. When couples sign prenuptial agreements before tying the knot, they can design a custom plan that will dictate how their finances, including retirement savings, will be divided during a divorce. If a couple has this agreement, they will need to follow what was specified in it.

How prenups can benefit engaged couples

When most couples in Pennsylvania get engaged, they want to focus on the joy and excitement that surrounds their relationship. The last thing that most of them want to talk about is a prenuptial agreement. After all, this makes some feel like a marriage is doomed for failure from the get-go. On the contrary, discussing a prenuptial agreement offers several benefits.

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that usually indicates which assets are viewed as separate property and which ones are marital property. It will lay out how marital assets and liabilities should be divided if the couple decides to divorce. Each prenuptial agreement is tailored to the couple. It could determine how income will be treated, if much spousal support will be offered and how business interests, inheritances and family trusts will be handled.

Avoid these common estate planning mistakes

While everyone knows that they will not live forever, it can still be uncomfortable to discuss and plan for the end. Death and long-term care can be difficult to fathom, but if a person wants to take control of their situation, they will take estate planning and end-of-life planning seriously. Here are a few estate planning mistakes Pennsylvania residents should avoid.

A lot of people have some type of plan in place. However, it may be poorly designed. If a person does not have a will or trust in place, state laws and the court system will determine where all their assets go. Individuals need a legally binding will that has been well thought out. It's also important to update a will over time. For example, when a person moves to a new state, they will need to review their estate plan.

Top challenges women face after a divorce

While divorce in Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States is common, this does not mean it is an easy process. Women are particularly affected by it, especially when it comes to their finances. One study showed that women are likely to experience a 20% decline in income if they have ever worked outside of the home after a divorce in comparison to men who typically experience a 30% increase in their income after a divorce.

Women often say that money is their top concern after going through a divorce. There are a few steps women can take to prepare for the divorce, including gathering important documents and saving money in an account that can be used later. Closing joint credit cards and improving their own credit score can be helpful. During and after the divorce, a woman will have to adapt to life on just one income. This means creating a budget and an emergency fund.

Can you use child support money to buy your kids gifts?

When you decided to file a petition in a Pennsylvania court because you no longer wished to stay married to your spouse, you may have worried about how your decision would affect your children. Like many parents who divorce, you may also have been greatly concerned about finances. Perhaps, you plan to request child support but aren't really sure what the laws and regulations are that govern such matters.

All you need to do is scan news headlines to find a plethora of stories about celebrities fighting over money after divorce or police arresting people who have disregarded court orders to pay child support. To avoid such problems in your own life, it pays to do your research ahead of time, so that you are aware, for instance, of what types of expenses child support can cover and whether you can prove legitimate need in court.

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Sweeney Law Offices, LLC
20581 Route 19, Suite 1
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Phone: 724-742-2590
Fax: 724-742-4409
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