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Harrisburg Family Law Blog

What to know about Income and Expense Statements

While divorce is largely an emotional and personal event, it is also a legal process. As such, it typically requires participants to fill out and submit a lot of paperwork.

One such document divorcing spouses will need to complete is a financial accounting of each person's income and expenses. This information can play an important role in resolving child support, alimony and property division matters. Below, we explain a few important elements of these documents. 

Can your child ask their stepparent to adopt them?

It is possible that while scrolling through social media, you have found videos of stepchildren asking their stepparents to adopt them. If you haven’t, a quick search on YouTube for "surprise stepparent adoption" will produce a few tears.

These heartwarming videos typically end with a stepparent opening a present with adoption papers inside. There is good reason for this, as the gesture is likely intended to be permanent and legal, not just symbolic. If a child wants to ask their stepparent to adopt them, it is important to understand how this is done.

Start planning now for co-parenting during the holidays

November means the start of the holidays is just a few short weeks away. Whether you and your family celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's or more, the holidays are a time of sentiment and tradition, typically spent with your loved ones.

For families with divorced or separated parents, the holidays can be challenging. Discussing holiday plans early can help avoid confusion and address potential issues.

Resources coming for PA grandparents who adopt grandchildren

Adopting a child is a joyous occasion for the adoptive parents and the adopted child. Often, the child is becoming part of a family unit after growing up without appropriate parental care. In other instances, a child's previously stable home may have been abruptly disrupted by a parent's criminal charges or substance abuse issues. 

In Pennsylvania, the opiod epidemic has thrust grandparents into the role of parents and caretakers.  As a result, grandparents are increasingly adopting or securing custody of their grandchildren. Recognizing the challenges grandparents in this situation face, Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed into law two bills that should help grandparents caring for their grandchildren.

Challenges can arise when modifying spousal support

If you pay or receive spousal support, you should know that it is possible to modify these orders as time goes by. After all, people can change, as can their needs and means. When a significant change occurs, it could warrant re-examination of support orders and possible modification.

That said, even after a significant life change, the road to support modification may not be smooth. Parties can disagree on whether a change is warranted as well as what a reasonable amount of support is. 

Tips for protecting your privacy during divorce

Throughout the course of any divorce, parties share a vast amount of information, from their financial records to intimate details of their marriage. Many people would prefer that others not be privy to this information, and rules that took effect earlier this year in Pennsylvania regarding confidential documents and information serve to keep family law matters as private as possible.

Are all mediation approaches the same?

Mediation is becoming an increasingly common way to resolve family law matters, from property division to child custody. This approach allows parties to reach mutually agreeable resolutions together and avoid the demands of litigation.

However, there is more to the mediation process than people might realize. For instance, not all mediators have the same style.  We explore three types of mediatiors in this post.

What to consider when discussing child custody

Child custody orders are critical tools for parents who are not in an intact family, and securing a fair order should be a top priority when parents separate. While people might expect the courts to design these orders, oftentimes, it is the parents who do so through mediation or collaboration.

As such, it can be helpful to understand the main factors that you will want to consider when creating a custody plan.

What is the financial impact of gray divorce?

Trends show an increase in the number of divorces for couples 50-plus years of age. Known as gray divorce, these individuals face some unique challenges that younger divorcing spouses may not.

One of the greatest challenges is the economic impact that gray divorce can have on a family. Learn why dividing assets at an older age may be more difficult.

Which method of divorce is right for you?

Legally marrying can look very different for every couple. Some people choose to marry in a church in front of a pastor; some choose to have an ordained friend perform an outdoor ceremony; some choose to go down to the courthouse and get married by a judge.

And just as there are different ways to get married, there are different ways to end a marriage. In this post, we will look at three options people have when they get divorced.

When You Have Questions About Family Law

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