Who gets custody on Halloween?

Posted on 10/03/2017 at 4:12pm

Who gets custody on Halloween?

If you’re a parent of a young child, Halloween can be one of the most stressful holidays of the year. Halloween falls on a different day each year, for many parents with Custody Orders don’t include Halloween as a holiday the result is often unpredictable because custody will be exercised by whomever would exercise custody on that day under the normal schedule. In addition, since Halloween often falls on a weekday when school is in session, custody time is often limited by children’s’ school schedules and neighborhood’s defined trick-or-treating times. In order to avoid chaos, parents should insist on including provisions for the Halloween holiday or, at the very least, agree to a plan with the other parent well in advance.

 

Things to consider when negotiating a Halloween holiday schedule might include an altered pick-up/drop-off schedule or location to accommodate neighborhood trick-or-treating schedules. As with anything in a Custody Order, the more detailed the plan is the less likely there will be friction between parents at trick-or-treat time. For many parents, a plan which alternates who exercises custody on Halloween each year seems to be the best way to handle it. Since many the…

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What to do with the home during a divorce

Posted on 09/26/2017 at 1:51pm

What to do with the home during a divorce

When a married couple gets divorced, there is more to it than just both parties calling it quits and going their separate ways. That is because there is usually more at stake. The issues usually include children and splitting up the marital assets. While custody of the children is something that can and will be continually addressed until the children reach the age of majority, the splitting up of assets (also known as Equitable Distribution) sometimes becomes an issue that needs immediate attention. For the majority of divorcing couples, the biggest asset that the marriage will have is the marital home. A lot of times, one party or another wants to stay in the house temporarily and sometimes the parties want to sell the house to get the money they have in equity so they can take the next step in their lives. The biggest pitfall to avoid is not paying the mortgage and allowing the house to fall into foreclosure.

When the marital home becomes an issue in divorce, it can be handled through a variety of courses. If one party wants to stay, they can attempt to buy…

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Prenuptial Agreements

Posted on 09/21/2017 at 3:39pm

Prenuptial Agreements

If a couple is getting married, they are not thinking about getting divorced; however, it is important to consider getting an antenuptial, or prenuptial, agreements. These agreements are signed by the parties in advance of marriage and become binding on the date of marriage.

Prenuptial agreements typically include clauses which address what property will be ineligible to be divided upon divorce, but, can also include clauses pertaining to income, tax returns, managing of joint assets, managing household expenses, debt management, investing, business management, or how to settle disagreements regarding finances. Some people include clauses regarding children, spousal support, child support, alimony, and custody as well.

A prenuptial agreement exists to limit the disputes between the parties in the event of divorce, and to bind the parties by certain terms throughout the course of the marriage.

Having a prenuptial agreement which is well written can limit, or remove all necessity of, court intervention, therefore greatly minimizing the cost and stress associated with divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also ensure that the assets owned by each party will remain their sole and separate property, including any increase on those assets, in the event of divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy…

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Getting the Most out of your Settlement: 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce

Posted on 09/12/2017 at 2:45pm

Getting the Most out of your Settlement: 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce

In Pennsylvania divorces, marital assets are divided according to a process called “equitable distribution”.  The process of exchanging discovery, appearing for pretrial conferences, and having a hearing or even a trial can be long and costly.  For this reason, parties to a divorce sometimes elect to forego the litigation route in favor of an agreed-upon settlement.  If your attorneys can collaborate and put together a Property Settlement Agreement that is acceptable to both sides, you and your spouse could end up saving thousands (even tens of thousands) in legal fees and court costs.

1.Keep the Big Picture in Mind

Here’s an example: Both parties want the 60” flat-screen television.  It was bought five years ago for $1,000.00.  It would cost $500.00 to go to Target and buy a brand new one.  Because both sides feel strongly about their right to the television they each pay their attorney well over the cost of a new 60” flat-screen in pursuit of the existing one!  These people have lost sight of the big picture.  I ask my clients throughout the settlement process, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”  Remind yourself…

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Pennsylvania’s New Support Guidelines

Posted on 08/29/2017 at 3:09pm

Pennsylvania’s New Support Guidelines

Pennsylvania has adopted new child support guidelines and made certain changes to the support rules, effective May 1, 2017. As is the usual pattern with such changes, the guidelines and the support obligations they create are being changed only in incremental ways. That is not to say, of course, that incremental changes are not felt by those on both sides of a support case. Both the one paying support and the one receiving support may indeed feel the effect of the new guidelines, if their case is reviewed and subjected to the new rules.

The change to the rules and guidelines does not, by itself, subject every case to review or adjustment. The change to the guidelines in and of itself, however, is a sufficient change in circumstances such that either party to a support action may ask for the case to be reviewed and for the obligation to be adjusted. What has not changed about the support rules is that it does not matter which party brought the action to court, or what his/her expectations and desires were in so doing, the support court is charged with entering the order appropriate to the facts…

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Care, Compassion…and “Completing the Circuit.”

Posted on 08/22/2017 at 5:30pm

Care, Compassion…and “Completing the Circuit.”

While I do not consider myself an electrician, I know that in order to turn on a light, I must first flip the switch. If I do this successfully, I am rewarded with light all around me. I do remember from an early lesson in school that this process is “completing the circuit.” If there was a gap in any part of that circuit, the light would not turn on.

I have been a team member at LaMonaca Law for over three (3) years. While my formal title is that of “Paralegal,” as it pertains to how we work within the team, my job takes on many other additional tasks, each having their own benefits and rewards.

As the phone rings throughout the day, on the other end is often an individual who has many fears, anxieties and concerns over the issues which brought them to our family law firm. I have the very unique opportunity and privilege of being the individual who can listen to them, allow them to express their concerns, and to give them a very warm, caring and empathetic response to put them at ease. I reassure them, which letting them…

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Five Things to Avoid During a Divorce

Posted on 08/15/2017 at 3:19pm

Five Things to Avoid During a Divorce

1. Don’t stoop to your spouse’s level

If things are getting rocky during a divorce and the other side is acting like a juvenile, it helps to clearly memorialize that you are not okay with their actions (via text, e-mail, etc); but going tit-for-tat on the juvenile behavior will not win you any points from the Court or the other people being affected by the divorce. Just keep in mind that this kind of immature behavior usually only awards the attorneys, who are being paid to smooth over these issues when they come up.

2. Don’t proceed without educating yourself

This comes in the way of meeting with an attorney or reading books on the subject. In a divorce, a lot is on the table, including custody of children, money, and real estate. It is important to know if your goals align with what a Court is able to give you.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others who have gone through this before

Each divorce is unique and the outcome depends on a tailored analysis of each person’s circumstances and the circumstances of the marriage. While…

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Business Owners and Considerations for Divorce

Posted on 08/10/2017 at 7:14pm

Business Owners and Considerations for Divorce

          Many client ask us if a divorce is different when there is a business involved. The answer is that every divorce and/or custody matter is different. Within each profession there are unique attributes and common themes that need to be addressed in particular ways. We have represented countless clients with business interests. We also have represented countless spouses in divorces where the opposing party is the business owner. Even if a spouse is not the legal owner of the business, they may still be entitled to an equitable share of the other spouse’s interest in the business. In Pennsylvania, when there is a business involved, there will need to be a determination of what, if any, portion of the business is considered “marital property,” and thus subject to equitable distribution.

          For the business-owner spouse, time is often at a premium. With the demands of marriage and family, time can be extremely scarce. When a divorce and/or custody action arise(s), the spouse may now find him or herself trying to allocate time between the business, the family, the divorce, custody concerns, and…

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Added Responsibility as you progress in Life

Posted on 08/08/2017 at 3:19pm

Added Responsibility as you Progress in Life

Maybe I will use some of this after school?

“When will I ever use this again?” Throughout my schooling, I have heard this same question being asked over and over, whether it be in my own voice or any of the many students’ I have shared a classroom with. It would be naïve to assume that every student graduates remembering and retaining all the information from every class or lesson. But it would also be incorrect to then suggest that the slight facts and dates were the only important skills that were being developed.

Specifically, when I started to attend West Chester University as a Freshman, it became immediately apparent to me that I was not prepared to fully take on the added responsibilities that came with being a college student. There was no longer a teacher looking over my shoulder telling me I had to complete an assignment, that I had to show up every single day or I would get a detention and possibly sustain further punishment. I was on my own in college and it was up to me to show up to class and to do the…

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2017 CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

Posted on 07/31/2017 at 6:42pm

2017 CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

As of May 1, 2017, the new statewide Child Support Guidelines will go into effect.  As many parents in Pennsylvania already know, these guidelines, along with the combined net income of the parties, are used to calculate a parent’s monthly child support obligation. 

 

The 2017 child support increases do not apply evenly to all income levels, but for most income levels the changes are pretty modest.  For example, the increase in the total basic support obligation for one child would be around $23 for two parents each earning $4,000 per month after taxes.  Another change includes the increase to the self-support reserve, which is intended to make certain that low income individuals who are paying child support have enough money remaining to meet their basic needs.  The self-support reserve has increased from $931 to $981 per month.

 

Despite these changes, Pennsylvania Courts do not automatically grant child support increases when the guidelines are updated.  A parent must file a child support modification request and obtain a new child support order.  If you or someone you know is paying or receiving child support in Pennsylvania, contact LaMonaca Law at (610) 892-3877 for additional information concerning the new…

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