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Harrisburg Family Law Blog

4 things to avoid when going through a divorce

Divorce puts people in very difficult positions. Parties who once hoped to spend their lives together must not separate their assets, their time with their children and their lives. Therefore, people may do or say things they later regret.

While every case is different, know that there are some general missteps you will want to avoid if you are divorcing. 

Can courts later modify divorce agreements?

One option divorcing couples here in Pennsylvania have for addressing the many important issues in their divorce is to reach agreements on such issues. What if, after a divorce, a person feels that changing circumstances have made it so an agreement that he or she made with his or her ex during the divorce is no longer fair and no longer a good fit for the situation? Can he or she seek out a court modification of the agreement?

It depends on the situation. For one, it depends on what the provisions a person wishes to have changed regard. Pennsylvania law sets rules on what kinds of divorce agreement provisions can and can’t be modified by a court.

Should you keep the house after a divorce?

Buying a house is big step, and it can take a long time to make that house feel like a home. Now that you are facing a divorce, you may feel tempted to hang onto the place you worked so hard to make yours. Though keeping the marital home may be appealing, you should consider all the consequences before you make a decision.

How do alimony payments affect taxes?

An individual’s financial future after divorce can seem uncertain. If the final agreement includes spousal support, whether you pay or receive it, that question is likely on the forefront of your mind.

Divorces in which alimony may be required that are finalized starting January 1, 2019 could be more complicated. While previous tax rules established that alimony payers would be able to write off their payments and recipients would have to include them as taxable income, the changes going into effect from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will alter this standard. 

What happens with gifts in a divorce?

During the holidays and at other times of the year, people can receive gifts that have considerable value, both emotionally and financially. When a person gets divorced, among the concerns he or she may have are worries about what will happen with cherished gifts he or she received in the past. Today, we'll go over the basics of how gifts are treated in Pennsylvania divorce law.

Under state law, most property spouses obtained during a marriage is subject to being divided in a divorce. However, gifts are among the exceptions to this. Gifts are generally considered separate property belonging to the person given the gift.

Tips for celebrating the holidays with your kids after divorce

Many people are eager to get to a new year and put 2018 behind them. This could certainly be the case if this was the year you got divorced. 

However, first comes the holidays. And this season can be particularly difficult to navigate for the first time after divorce, especially if you are a parent. You and your children will likely be adjusting to difficult changes and experiencing some sadness, which can make the holidays less joyful than they have been or will be. Thankfully, there are numerous helpful tips for parents in this situation.

Parents: Benefits of avoiding the courtroom during divorce

When parents divorce, one of their main concerns is typically how they can navigate this difficult event without causing unnecessary trauma for their children. However, parties also want a divorce that protects their own interests.

Striking this balance can be complicated, but it may not be as difficult as you think. This is especially true if you avoid the courtroom and commit to resolving divorce-related matters through methods of alternative dispute resolutions (ADR), including collaboration or mediation. 

How could divorce affect your small business?

For small business owners, divorce can create a lot of anxiety. Owners or operators of start-ups, family businesses or even family farms can suddenly find themselves in complex, technical discussions on how to properly "divide" their business.

Like many who go through a divorce, you may be unprepared for what comes next. Whether your marriage preceded the start of your business or you understandably never anticipated a divorce, the future of your business may suddenly be a little uncertain.

4 missteps that can cost you more than money during your divorce

When people divorce, they often focus on the financial aspect of the process. Yes, it costs money to end a marriage, and you will divide your marital assets. You may also, however, be confronted with decisions that affect more than your financial interest.

If you are going through divorce, understand that there are ways to minimize expenses without compromising your financial and personal future. This includes avoiding the following mistakes:

Can you get a Protection From Abuse order for verbal abuse?

Abuse can come in many different forms. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), almost 20 people are physically abused in the United States each minute. Sadly, many of these cases of domestic violence begin with verbal abuse, which can have a lasting impact on a victim.

In Pennsylvania, victims of verbal abuse can seek protection under the law. If granted, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order prevents any contact between a victim and an abuser. While victims normally request a PFA order for situations of physical abuse, a PFA order can protect someone from verbal abuse as well. A judge will award a PFA order for verbal abuse if the words would cause a person "reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury."

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