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Du Bois Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Family law issues don't end with a final divorce settlement

Whether a couple came to a final settlement through mediation, collaborative divorce or in court, the parties probably spent a great deal of time painstakingly advocating for their individual financial futures. Once all the paperwork is signed and the court has closed the case, many Pennsylvania residents may believe that they have nothing more to do. The truth is that the family law issues for most couples do not end at that point. Often, more work needs to be done.

For example, if a party is to receive child support on behalf of the children, ensuring that those payments reach that parent regularly may require additional work. Health insurance is often a big issue during a divorce. Whatever arrangements made in the settlement need to be put into place. The party who does not already have a health insurance policy will need to obtain one at some point.

What makes up an estate? Is probate the best way to pass it on?

Most Pennsylvania residents spend their working years taking care of their loved ones and accumulating property and debts. At some point, nearly all of them need to think about what will happen to their loved ones, their debts and their property after death. What exactly makes up an estate? Is probate really the best way to dispose of and distribute everything when the time comes?

Most people are aware of the fact that all of their property, from their homes to their retirement accounts to their household goods makes up their estates. However, that only encompasses part of the equation. What most people may not readily realize is that their debts are also considered part of the estate. They must also be dealt with during estate administration.

How do I know if my spouse is hiding assets?

When it comes to divorce in the DuBois area, what you do not know can hurt you. You might become so consumed with your emotions that you fail to take actions to protect yourself during the separation process. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be relying on you not paying attention so he or she can transfer and hide assets. You may think you know all there is to know about your partner’s financial accounts and assets. However, when divorce comes into the picture, some individuals become greedy and dishonest and resort to extraordinary measures to cheat their partners. 

Hiding assets is illegal. It puts the unknowing spouse at a big disadvantage during the divorce negotiations. Knowing if and where your partner is hiding assets is not easy. Review the following information to learn common ways people hide assets in a divorce

Personal injury: Pennsylvania accident results in fatality

Most anyone who drives or rides in a motor vehicle is aware of the potential of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. However, when drivers follow traffic signs and obey the speed limits, the chances of being involved in an accident could be reduced. Unfortunately, the family of a deceased man may be considering their options -- including consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney -- following an accident in Pennsylvania that reportedly caused the man's death.

The incident happened at approximately 2 a.m. on a day in late January. According to reports, the 26-year-old victim was the passenger in a vehicle. Police believe that the driver of the vehicle was speeding and failed to stop at an intersection before the vehicle crashed into a retaining wall.

Fewer teens are being arrested for DUI here in Pennsylvania

Most Pennsylvania parents spend a great deal of time worrying about their teens, especially once they are able to drive. Adding to those concerns may be the possibility that some of those teens could be drinking and driving. Fortunately, one study indicates that teenagers are involved in fewer DUI arrests and accidents involving alcohol.

In 2015, the percentage of teens consuming alcohol dropped to just 18 percent of those surveyed. In 2011, the number of 12 to 17-year-old juveniles drinking alcohol was 20 percent. That may not be a dramatic drop, but any downward movement remains significant.

Not all family law attorneys are created equal

In many cases, when Pennsylvania residents search for an attorney, it is due to some sort of crisis. They are often experiencing one of the lowest times in their lives, and need help to get through it. This is often the case in family law matters, and choosing the right representation makes a difference.

One mistake that many Pennsylvania residents make when choosing an attorney is basing the decision purely on financial reasons. Yes, cost is an issue, but if an individual and the attorney are unable to see eye-to-eye, the relationship will not work and the outcome will more than likely not meet the person's expectations. It may become necessary to go back and fix certain issues, which would end up costing more in the end.

Does DUI blood-alcohol test refusal fee violate USSC ruling?

Most Pennsylvania residents are already aware that they face a driver's license suspension if they refuse to take a breath test during a traffic stop if a police officer suspects impairment. What they may not yet be aware of is that beginning on Jan. 11 the state intends to institute a pretty hefty fee for those convicted of DUI who refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test. One issue that may arise because of this new law is that it could violate a ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

In 2016, the country's highest court ruled that law enforcement officials must have a search warrant or consent in order to conduct a blood-alcohol test. Under the ruling, officials are not allowed to impose, or threaten to impose, criminal penalties on someone who refused to give consent. Pennsylvania's new law may violate this ruling since it may end up imposing a criminal penalty for refusing the test.

Should you participate in field sobriety tests in a DUI stop?

Did you know that some of the people who failed field sobriety tests were sober at the time? You heard right. For every three sober people (whether here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere) who submit to them during a DUI stop, one of them will fail. Will it be you?

It may surprise you to know that you do not have to participate in those tests. Implied consent applies to the breath test, but not to field sobriety tests. That does not stop police officers from trying to convince drivers that they have to submit to them.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Pennsylvania?

Starting the divorce process can be intimidating for a variety of reasons, but one common worry for married couples who want to split is how long it will take. You may feel that staying married but living separate lives is easier than going through legal proceedings.

However, this approach does not offer financial and parental protection for the family, because informal agreements are not enforceable. The good news is that a divorce in Pennsylvania does not have to take long.

Filing a personal injury claim after a pileup can be complex

Winter weather has arrived in Pennsylvania, and it is wreaking havoc on the roadways. Drivers who fail to take extra precautions due to snowy, icy and slippery roads could end up causing an accident involving multiple vehicles. When the victims decide to exercise their rights to file personal injury claims, they could get complex due to the number of vehicles and drivers involved.

For instance, one Pennsylvania expressway was closed in both directions for a while on a recent Saturday morning due to an accident that ultimately involved at least 15 vehicles. Several people suffered a variety of unknown injuries. One person's injuries were severe enough to require hospital care. At last report, that victim's condition was said to be critical. No further information on the injuries suffered was available.

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