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Main Line Family Lawyer Advises: Dissipation of the Marital Estate is a Factor to be Considered at Equitable Distribution

When a spouse consumes marital property or causes its decrease in value during the marriage or after separation, the other spouse may have a claim for dissipation of the marital estate at equitable distribution. Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 3502, “the contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property” is one of the factors to be considered at equitable distribution, and should be discussed with your Main Line family lawyer. If a spouse has consumed or caused the decrease in value of marital property during the marriage, the court may award the other spouse a greater percentage of the marital estate, or a dollar-for-dollar credit against the consumed asset. Examples of behavior that may support a potential dissipation claim include a wife that spends large amounts of marital money on a secret affair during the marriage, or a husband that withdraws all[...]

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Main Line Family Law Attorney Discusses: How Long does a Child Support Obligation Last?

  In Pennsylvania, parents have a duty to financially support their children until they become emancipated.  Emancipation occurs when the child turns 18 years old and graduates from high school, whichever occurs last.  This means that when parents are going through a divorce and one parent has a child support obligation to the other, that obligation can continue long past the finalization of the divorce. But once a child is close to the age of emancipation, the court will send the custodial parent an “emancipation inquiry,” asking for confirmation of when the child will be graduating from high school and turning 18 years old.  Depending on which county your case is taking place in, after they receive confirmation of the emancipation the court might automatically terminate the child support order if there was only one child on the order. If there are other children that remain on the order, the court might[...]

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Family Law Attorney Explains how New Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines Effective May 1, 2017 Result in Modest Increase in Child Support Orders

Effective May 1, 2017 there was a modification to the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines that provides parents who are receiving child support a slight increase in their child support payment. The Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines “Guidelines” originally went into effect in 1989, and have been updated periodically since their inception, generally every four years. The Guidelines are based upon an income share model which determines what an intact family which has the same combined monthly income spends on their child(ren), based upon statistical data, and apportions that amount between the parents, so that the child(ren) receive the same amount of support from their parents. In order to obtain the increase in child support, the parent who receives child support should request a modification of the Child Support Order with the assistance of a family law attorney. Either parent can request a modification of their Child Support Order, upon a material and[...]

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A Main Line Family Law Attorney Advises: How do you File your Taxes when your Divorce is Pending?

As Main Line family law attorneys, we know that when a divorce is pending, clients are often confused as to whether they are considered “married” or “divorced” for tax filing purposes. Since there is no “legal separation” document that is filed in Pennsylvania, you are not considered divorced in Pennsylvania until a divorce decree is issued by the Court. Thus, even if you are separated, you are still considered “married” for tax filing, and other, purposes. Tax filing status is determined based on an individual’s status on the last day of the year (December 31st). If no divorce decree has been issued, then that individual would still be considered “married” for tax filing purposes, and thereby, able to file their taxes either as “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” However, if the divorce decree issues on December 31st, then that person will not be able to file jointly with their[...]

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Wayne Family Law Attorney Discusses Prenuptial or Premarital Agreements

Many people get engaged over the winter holidays or around Valentine’s Day. If you or anyone that you knew got engaged over the past few months, then you may be wondering, “is a prenuptial agreement necessary?” Although the Pennsylvania Divorce Code has been written to protect the interests of both high-wage earning spouses and financially-dependent spouses in the event of a divorce, there are many situations in which family law attorneys recommend a prenuptial agreement. For example, if one spouse has an interest in a family business, children from a prior marriage, or the potential for a large inheritance or trust distribution, then a prenuptial agreement can help protect those interests even further. When deciding whether or not you should sign a prenuptial agreement, which can also be called a premarital agreement, the most important thing that you can do is learn about what your rights and obligations would be in[...]

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