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Berks County Family Law Blog

Steps to take after a divorce is finalized

Typically, there are still actions that need to be taken after a divorce in Pennsylvania has formally concluded. First, it will be important to make changes to a health care policy. If a person was on a former spouse's policy, it will be necessary to find a new individual policy. If a spouse was on his or her ex's policy, that person will need to be removed as soon as possible.

Any assets that were awarded in a divorce will likely need to have their titles changed. If one person is keeping the family home after the marriage ends, it may be necessary to refinance the mortgage as well as process a quit claim deed. It may also be necessary to refinance a car, boat or another joint loan to reflect the fact that one person now owns it.

Do you feel like your spouse loves social media more than you?

Most people enjoy using social media to connect with others. With your busy schedule, liking, poking or commenting might be your way of maintaining connections with your friends.

But if you and your spouse are both active on your social media accounts, you might feel like your marriage is suffering as a result. Whether checking for status updates is the first thing your significant other does in the morning or their phone gets more attention than you during a dinner date, your spouse might have an addiction to social media. But could your marriage be at risk?

How does the breakup of a blended family affect stepchildren?

In many situations, “family” means more than shared genetics. Blood may be thicker than water, but the relationships and loyalties you develop may not have anything to do with DNA, even among those you choose to include in your family.

The American family unit is continually evolving, as countless adults care for children who aren’t related to them biologically. If you have stepchildren, you might love them like your own. But if you and your partner divorce, you may be concerned about what kind of effect that might have.

Refinancing or assuming a mortgage after divorce

When couples in Pennsylvania get a divorce, one partner may decide to keep the marital home. Even in this situation, both spouses might decide that they will remain on the joint mortgage. This can be risky because a missed payment will affect both of them even if only one spouse is still living in the house and paying the mortgage.

Some other options include removing one spouse from the picture. The mortgage can be refinanced, or one person can assume the mortgage. The first step should be to make sure it is possible to assume the mortgage loan. The promissory note can be checked for this information. Some spouses may think assuming a mortgage will be both easier and a better financial choice, but this is not always necessarily true.

Factors to consider when selling a house during a divorce

Pennsylvania residents who have gone through a divorce know just how stressful it can be. One of the things that can add to the stress of divorce is deciding what to do with the marital home. Some options that are often looked at include selling it and dividing the proceeds, buying one spouse out, or keeping the home and renting it out.

Most couples decide to sell the house and then divide the proceeds. If a couple decides to go this route, they will need to work together, no matter how difficult of a task this may be. It usually proves to be the best route, especially when there are children involved.

Dealing with the stress of divorce: Self-care is important

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person will ever go through. According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory rates divorce as second only to the death of a spouse. On this well-known scale, the death of a close family member is rated number 5, "Sexual Difficulties" ranks 13th, and "Troubles with the boss" is 30th. "Major holidays" is farther down the list in the 42nd position.

Many of us know that too much stress can suck our energy and ultimately cause serious health problems if it isn't contained. So, what can you do to manage your stress in the midst (or the aftermath) of a divorce? Many experts emphasize the importance of self-care. Here's what that might mean for you.

About grey divorces

One of the many reasons for the increased divorce rate for people in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country who are over the age of 50 is infidelity. Because people who engage in extramarital affairs are not as stigmatized as they once would have been, infidelity has become the reason for many grey divorces. Older members of both sexes may begin finding younger members of the opposite sex more attractive.

Another reason for the increase in grey divorce is that people are enjoying better health and living longer than they have before. When presented with remaining in an unhappy marriage for the rest of their lives, people who are 50 years old or older opt to leave the marriage and try to find happiness elsewhere.

Second marriages and the advantages of a prenuptial agreement

Pennsylvania residents who are going into a second marriage may have a number of concerns that could be addressed with a prenuptial agreement. Among these are how to divide assets in case of a divorce, ensuring that both people have a comfortable retirement and old age, and dividing assets between the spouse and children after death.

The prenup can specify not just how to divide property but how to conduct the divorce as well. For example, the couple may want to agree that they will use a method like mediation rather than going straight to court.

Does your child custody or support arrangement feel unfair?

Divorce can bring so many changes. From shifts in your social circle to huge adjustments to your finances, the years following a divorce can be overwhelming. For many people, nothing is as emotionally challenging as the stress that relates to changes involving your kids.

Some of the most common post-divorce complaints involve child custody and child support. If you feel like your custody and/or child support orders are unfair to you or your kids, you may want to talk to a lawyer about your options for modifying those arrangements.

The most common reasons for getting divorced

Almost all marriages in Pennsylvania begin with an earnest effort to stay together with a spouse for a lifetime, but a variety of factors can cause a relationship to deteriorate over time. By surveying people who've experienced a divorce, the National Center for Biotechnology Information learned what the most common causes of separation are. At the top of the list was lack of commitment with 75 percent of respondents saying that it contributed to their divorce.

Lack of commitment was followed by a few other obvious factors, including infidelity, domestic violence and too much arguing and conflict. There were also some less glaring causes. Almost half of the people surveyed said that getting married too young was a major influence on their divorce. The average age of getting married has been steadily rising over the past few decades, which might explain why the divorce rate has dropped.

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