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Berks County Divorce Law Blog

How to sell a home during a divorce

Some Pennsylvania couples who are getting a divorce may need to sell their home. According to one survey, this happens in nearly two-thirds of divorces. Selling the home can be an emotional process. However, there are steps that can make it less difficult.

Couples should begin by meeting with an agent to discuss their goals. However, following this initial meeting, couples might want to choose just one of them to act as the contact with the agent. This can simplify matters, and it may also reduce the likelihood that the agent will get dragged into any conflict with the couple.

Guidelines for your prenup

So maybe your first marriage did not end well. It happens. Millions of people have walked down the aisle only to find themselves speaking to a divorce lawyer 10, 20 or 30 years later. Simply because it did not work out the first time does not mean you should not get married again in the future. However, before you tie the knot again, put to use the lessons you learned the first time.

A prenuptial agreement is an extremely important and valuable tool that can protect your assets in case of divorce. It is even more useful if you have children from a previous marriage and want to protect their interests. Keep the following prenuptial guidelines in mind when you start drafting a marital agreement.

Tips to protect your retirement in case of divorce

Divorce often takes a huge financial toll. This is mostly due to the fact that you have to divide all of your marital assets with your ex. This includes your home in Wyomissing, the cars, investment portfolio and even your retirement accounts. Since you have probably been planning for your retirement for most of your adult life, you may be especially concerned that your impending divorce will affect it.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect your retirement. The following tips can help you keep your future plans on track and your retirement secure.

How shared parenting is changing child custody

Some Pennsylvania parents who are getting a divorce might be interested in shared parenting as a custody arrangement rather than one parent having primary physical custody while the other parent has visitation rights. Some states are even considering or passing legislation that makes this arrangement the default, but this is controversial. Women's groups and some legal organizations oppose it.

Studies back the idea that children benefit from shared parenting situations, including a meta-analysis that looked at 15 countries and found better physical, behavioral and emotional outcomes. Opponents argue that these studies are based on situations in which the parents get along and would tend to share custody anyway. They believe that a better approach would be using alternate conflict resolution methods such as mediation.

Mel Gibson's ex faces lawsuit after child support dispute

Some people in Pennsylvania may remember actor Mel Gibson's disputes with his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Grigorieva rejected an offered $15 million deal from Gibson but accepted a settlement of $750,000 in 2011. She subsequently sued her lawyers, saying she was coerced into making a bad deal in her custody disagreement with Gibson, but she later dropped the lawsuit.

In 2015, she filed for bankruptcy. She hired a forensic accounting firm in order to get increased child support from Gibson, and as a result, his payments went up to $22,500 per month for their daughter. However, she still owes the firm more than $108,000. Gibson has already paid most of the rest.

Blake Griffin in custody and support dispute with ex-fiancee

Pennsylvania fans of Kendall Jenner or basketball player Blake Griffin might be following the relationship between the two. Griffin has two children by his ex-fiancee, Brynn Cameron, and the two split up in July.

Griffin has filed paperwork to legally establish his paternity of the children. This is necessary to create a court-ordered child support and custody agreement if the parents are unmarried. Reportedly, Cameron also filed paperwork asking for joint custody and child support. Griffin signed a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers worth $173 million, so support payments may be ordered based on that amount. Reports speculate that Griffin will dispute the amount asked for in support.

Divorce can impact credit scores

Divorce can always be full of many challenges for people who live in Pennsylvania and across the United States. From the emotional minefields of the end of a marriage to the financial and practical difficulties, there are a number of concerns for people going through a divorce. One of the more significant issues, especially for people who use credit frequently and value their high credit scores for low interest rates and strong mortgage approvals, is the impact divorce could have on their credit.

Divorce does not have to mean that a couple's credit scores will take a dramatic drop. However, it can be important to prepare during the divorce in order to protect one's credit score and be aware of the potential credit effects of divorce. If the marital home is to be transferred into the name of one person, it could require a mortgage refinance. This will involve a hard credit inquiry and could significantly change the debt profile of that person, although it would not necessarily impact his or her creditworthiness.

Considerations in divorce when one spouse has bitcoin

Some people in Pennsylvania who are getting a divorce might consider hiding any bitcoin assets. This is the advice provided on some websites for people who are divorcing due to the fact that if a person claimed to give away a bitcoin account, it would be difficult to trace.

However, even if a person does not try to hide bitcoin assets, there may be other complications in a divorce if one spouse has an account. The couple might need to make a decision about how to distribute the asset. There could be a choice between taking a percentage of the profits over a period of time or taking a lump sum immediately. They may also need to decide whether the account should be valued based on current market value or purchase price.

Judge orders actress Jodie Sweetin to pay child support

Pennsylvania fans of the actress Jodie Sweetinnbmay have heard that she has been ordered to pay child support to her ex-husband Morty Coyle. On Dec. 15, a judge ordered her to make two payments per month of $1,400 each. The payments are due on the first and 15th.

Sweetin and Coyle married in 2012, but by 2013, Sweetin had filed for legal separation although the divorce was not finalized until 2016. The two have a 7-year-old daughter. Sweetin must continue paying the support until the child is married, emancipated, dies or turns 18. She must also pay back child support through Sept. 1 in two installments in 2018. Those are due on Feb. 1 and March 1.

The role of consent in a child support case

Pennsylvania residents may know that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States. However, there are situations involving such couples that may not arise for heterosexual couples. One such case revolves around a Hawaii woman who wanted to sever rights to the child her wife bore while she was away on military service. Justices from the Hawaii Supreme Court heard arguments in the case, and the central issue seems to hinge on whether consent was given by both parties to have the child.

However, the issue of consent was one that the justices had a hard time grasping. This was because they didn't want to potentially create legal precedent that may treat same-sex and heterosexual couples differently. For instance, a man could try to claim that a baby wasn't his because his wife stopped taking birth control without his knowledge. An attorney for the woman seeking to terminate parental rights claims that no consent was given to seek the services of sperm donor.

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