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June 2016 Archives

Pensions and Retirement in Divorce

Pensions, as well as other retirement plans, are often one of the assets up for division in a divorce. The court will equitably divide the marital portion of a pension plan after considering all the relevant factors in equitable distribution. The marital portion of a plan would be the portion that accrued from the date of marriage through the date of separation. In some cases, the entire pension will be marital depending on the timing of the marriage alongside the start date of the pension plan. The marital portion will also include investment experience on the marital portion that accrues post-separation. It will not include contributions by the employee made post-separation.

Post Divorce Finances - Wrapping Up, Moving Forward

After your divorce you will have a new life to build. This may include finding a new place to live, transition your children to their new lives between homes, and becoming accustomed to your new home. While your emotions may be running high and you are excited about your future you need to be vigilant in establishing your own credit and gaining financial strength.

Supervised Custody

23 Pa. C.S. 5322 defines all the different variations of custody. Physical custody is defined as "the actual physical possession and control of a child." Physical custody can be supervised if warranted. Generally, the court is considering if the welfare and safety of the child necessitates supervision. If supervision is deemed to be necessary, you have to establish who would supervise the custody time be it an agency of the court, one of the parties involved, or a third party. If using a third party, that person should acquire an understanding of the responsibilities of serving as a supervisor and what types of behavior are not permitted.

One Step Closer to Shorter Divorces

Last November the House voted for the passage of Bill 380 which proposes amending Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code to allow divorce on the basis of separation for a one year period as opposed to the current law which requires a two year separation period. Presently House Bill 380 is in the Senate and still pending a decision as of May 2016. There are several reasons for reducing the waiting period for divorce according to supporters of the Bill. First, reducing the duration for divorce will reduce the turmoil for minor children. There is consensus in the psychological field that continued conflict of the parents is the primary influence on the well-being, or lack thereof, of the children. Second, longer divorces allow for additional litigation and prolonged emotional strain. The third reason offered in support of the bill is the lack of any economic benefit by continuing with a two year separation period. For example, any alimony award will generally be reduced by the period of support received while the divorce was pending such that there is no benefit to a longer separation period.

Should You Keep Your Marital Home After the Divorce?

When you are getting a divorce and own a home with your spouse, you have a few options. One of you may decide to keep the marital home or you can sell it and both move on purchasing or renting another residence. You may love your home, your neighborhood, and want to keep it to provide consistency for your children. Before making any final decisions or trying to negotiate to keep the home for yourself, think about this list of questions:

Summer Schedules

Now that warm weather is here and the school year is coming to a close, you may want to review your custody agreement to prepare for the summer months. Your standard schedule may change when the school year is over and you should make plans for that adjustment to go smoothly. If you have shared custody, you will need to consult with the other parent regarding what the children will do for the summer, for example, a certain camp or summer program. Additionally, summer is a popular season for vacations. Often, you must provide advance notice of any scheduled vacation to the other parent. Another scenario to consider is if one party likes to travel during the holiday season and therefore intends to schedule a vacation during that time. Holiday and vacation time will generally supercede the regular custody schedule, however, be sure any custody order makes clear whether the holiday schedule or vacation provision takes top priority.

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