x May 2016 Archives | Langhorne PA Family Law Attorney Blog
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May 2016 Archives

Personal Perks

The issue of how personal perks are being paid often arises when dealing with a self-employed party. Examples of personal perks provided at the expense of the company may include cell phone payments, car payments or repairs, entertainment, meal expenses, travel expenses, country club dues, and other comparable expenses that primarily benefit the individual. These expenses may be still be permissible deductions for tax purposes but the court should consider the amount and nature of these expenses in a support case.

Additional Expenses in Child Support

Child support in Pennsylvania is based on statewide guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The guidelines are intended to ensure that similarly situated parties are treated similarly. Accordingly, all parties making $3000 per month with 3 kids would pay the same amount of support based on the guideline amounts. The guidelines are based on an "Income Shares Model." Accordingly, the guideline amount will be based on the combined net monthly income of both parties. However, there are circumstances which warrant a deviation from the guideline amount such as having a special needs child.

Wills For Heroes - May 14, 2016

Bucks County has a "Wills for Heroes" event this upcoming Saturday, May 14, 2016. This is a program in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Bar Association that provides free wills, living wills, and powers of attorney to first responders and their spouses/significant others. Proof of military or public service affiliation is required. Appointments are required and can be made on the Pennsylvania Bar Association website. Each appointment is for one hour. At the conclusion of the appointment, each participant will have their final, notarized documents to take home with them. If a spouse or significant other is also participating, their appointment will be immediately following that of the first responder. The program is made possible through the time of volunteers including attorneys, reviewers and witnesses.

Estate Accounting

One of the most important duties of the executor or administrator is keeping an accurate accounting of the estate assets. Prior to distribution, an executor should prepare an accounting of all of the assets and liabilities of the estate, including all sources of assets (i.e. bank accounts, refunds, sale of real estate) and all liabilities paid and still outstanding (i.e. funeral costs, unpaid credit cards, medical bills).

Earning Capacity

In a support matter, the incomes of the parties will be used to calculate an appropriate award based on the support guidelines applicable throughout the Commonwealth. At the initial appearance for a support matter, both parties are asked to bring in proof of their income in the form of W-2s, tax returns, pay stubs, or other documentation of income received. If a party is unemployed or underemployed, the courts may consider their earning capacity. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1910.16-2(d)(4) discusses earning capacity. First, the rule indicates there should be a determination that a party willfully failed to obtain or maintain appropriate employment. Involuntary reductions in income (e.g. lay-offs or unemployment due to illness or disability) generally do not trigger an earning capacity analysis.

Do you need a will?

Do you need a will? Most people don't think so, or don't get around to it. While an estate can proceed without a will, i.e. by intestacy, a will can resolve many problems.

Inheritance Tax

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that requires a tax paid on inheritances. There is also a federal estate tax, but your estate is exempt as long as your estate is valued at less than $5,450,000 for 2016. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has no minimum threshold.

Opening an estate

In order to open an estate, you must go to the courthouse located in the county where the decedent was residing when he or she passed away.

Helping Your Children Move Between Two Homes

When you divorce with children, you are going to have to transition them between two homes. For a minor child of any age, this can be not only traumatic when it starts but also feel like a constant state of flux. It is critical that you children know they are loved by both parents, have space in your home, and are made to feel comfortable. How can you make this as easy as possible for them? Make sure you have duplicate supplies, take some responsibility, and be reasonable when they forget important items from one home.

The finances of your divorce - Three Important Parts

During your divorce every nook and cranny of your financial picture will be evaluated. Together we will take a look at the finances you brought into your marriage and then what you and your spouse accumulated together. It is very important that you have a full understanding of your financial picture and copies of all financial documents.

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