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Most common ways spouses hide assets

Anyone going through a divorce needs to be aware of the possibility of hidden assets. Many people like to think a partner would never hide assets. However, research has shown roughly 7.2 million Americans hide assets from a spouse during marriage. 

Therefore, spouses need to be aware of how partners most likely hide assets until after the divorce is final. You have a right to an equitable distribution of assets, so do not agree to anything until you have checked the following places. 

Put these 5 tips to work in managing your gray divorce

Perhaps you and your spouse have had a long marriage, but things have changed. The children have families of their own now, and the two of you have grown apart.

If the end to your union is on the horizon, here are five tips to help you better understand and navigate your gray divorce.

How long does it take to get through the probate process?

If you recently lost a loved one, you likely want to know how his or her estate will be closed out. In Pennsylvania, probate may be necessary -- it all depends on what type of assets the deceased owned and whether he or she had an estate plan. If probate is necessary, you probably want to know how long it will take to get through. The truth is every case is different, so there is no set time frame for how long it will take to finalize the probate process.

Closing out an estate is a time-consuming and, sometimes, exhaustive affair. There is simply a lot to it. An official probate case needs to be opened, beneficiaries must be identified and contacted, assets have to be inventoried, creditors need to be contacted, and taxes must be paid -- among other things. All of this can take months, and that is if everything goes smoothly.

Will you keep the family pet after your divorce?

You love your pet. Most people do. You are getting ready to go through the divorce process and you want to know if you will get to keep your pet. Here is what Pennsylvania law has to say about pet custody.

Pet custody is not something that the state recognizes. Animals are considered property and nothing more. This means a pet will simply be awarded to either party as part of a divorce agreement. That may seem wrong, but it is what it is under current state laws.

Asset protection and forensic accounting in divorce

For many couples, divorce is uncharted territory. Emotions may range from fear, bewilderment and distrust to anger and sorrow—all during the same day. High asset worth and child custody are two complications that heighten anxiety during a divorce.

An amicable divorce is desirable, but not always possible. Trusting spouses may discover too late that they left many assets on the table because of spousal financial infidelity. In cases where one spouse earns and holds the majority of marital assets while the other pays no attention to financial matters, it sets up the possibility that blind trust is not always wise. It is preferable for divorcing spouses to maintain confidence in each other, but verification of trustworthiness is not only acceptable, but also a sound procedure in divorce.

Parental mental health matters when figuring out child custody

When you are going through the divorce process, it is normal to have a million questions -- particularly if you have children. For instance, you want to know what your child custody arrangement will look like. The state of Pennsylvania leans toward awarding shared custody when possible, but there are reasons that custody may be denied to one parent -- such as if their mental health is a concern.

Mental illness is a big issue in the United States. Millions of people live with varying degrees of mental health concerns. Some are able to live normal lives with medication and therapy, and others are not. Numerous individuals choose to forgo treatment because they are afraid of what admitting to mental health issues could mean for their ability to keep custody of their children. This only hurts them in the long run.

Understanding the probate process with a will

It is important for people to take care of their finances properly. When they pass, a proper estate plan can help to continue the correct usage of their assets.

In order to execute the estate plan, the probate process is necessary in many instances. Understanding the probate process, particularly when there is a will in place, can be beneficial in setting up a successful estate.

Probate mistakes some executors make

Being the executor of an estate is not an easy job. There is a lot to it and if one is not careful, mistakes may be made. Here are some common mistakes that executors have made working through the probate process in Pennsylvania.

Mistake number one: distributing assets too early. There are several things that should be done before assets can be distributed to beneficiaries. If an executor skips any of those steps and goes straight to distributing assets, he or she may be held personally responsible if a miscalculation of liabilities occurred.

Why joint custody could be best for you and your kids

As a Pennsylvania parent in the process of a divorce, your children’s post-divorce happiness and welfare probably rank right at the top of your list of concerns. If you and your spouse are like most divorcing couples, (s)he, too, has deep concerns about the children. You both realize that your family is breaking up and that this breakup will affect your children for the rest of their lives. You both want to minimize its negative effects on them.

Given that both you and your spouse love your children and both of you want to remain integral parts of their lives, you probably will do well to consider joint custody of them. Over the years, joint custody has become the preferred custody arrangement of not only child psychologists, but also of family law judges and attorneys, legislators and parents themselves.

The ins and outs of probate in Pennsylvania

When a loved one dies, taking care of his or her estate can prove to be a challenging task. If a valid will exists, the state of Pennsylvania will allow assets to be distributed in accordance with the information contained within the will. Without a will or any other estate planning documents in place, the estate may be subject to state probate laws.

How does probate work? A personal representative of the deceased will be responsible for ensuring all of the deceased's qualifying debts are paid and his or her assets are distributed to beneficiaries. If the decedent failed to name a representative, the court will assign someone the duty.

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