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How are student loans treated in divorce

When ending a marriage, the division of property -- both of positive and negative value -- can be a complicated affair. It is not uncommon for some Pennsylvania residents to believe that they should be able to walk away from their marriages with certain positive assets and not be held accountable for their soon-to-be ex's debts. Unfortunately, due to the nature of divorce, this may not all work out as one hopes it will.

Many couples are affected by student loan debt. When a couple chooses to end their marriage, one would think that the person for whom the loan was intended would have to take on the full responsibility of paying back the debt. In truth, it may be considered shared marital property and up to both spouses to pay off the loan.

Avoid these 3 mistakes while executing an estate

Settling an estate can be a stressful, confusing and daunting task. As you assume the role of executor, you may encounter various problems and have a lot of questions. The most important thing to do is to obtain sound advice so you can avoid mistakes.

Making an error while managing an estate can cause you to be personally liable. The beneficiaries may take action to remove you or even get monetary compensation from you if you do not fulfill your responsibilities. Here are some glaring mistakes to avoid as you take on this position.

New law may better address pets' needs in a divorce

There is a lot a divorcing couple will need to decide upon when going through the court proceedings. Some of the most important items are child custody and alimony. However, couples may overlook plenty of minute, yet critical, issues. For example, the couple will need to decide who will get the pet once the divorce is final. 

Representative Anita Astorino Kulik recently introduced H.B. 1432, which would give judges more guidelines to follow when determining which spouse should retain custody of a pet in a divorce. Over the years, many people have complained that a judge acted too callously toward the pet and did not consider all the factors before making a decision. Alaska became the first state to make pets more of a priority in a divorce, and hopefully, Pennsylvania will follow suit. 

What do Pennsylvania laws have to say about child custody?

Numerous couples in the state of Pennsylvania will decide to end their relationships this year or in the near future. Divorce, separation and breakups happen and when they do, each party just wants to get out and move on with their lives. Moving on, though, is not easy when a couple shares one or more children. Child custody laws are in place to protect parental rights and look out for the best interests of the affected children. What exactly do state laws have to say about child custody?

First and foremost, state laws define who is eligible to achieve custody. Generally, both parents are eligible and shared custody arrangements are preferred; however, there are certain reasons as to why one parent may not be able to achieve shared custody. Some of these reasons include:

  • Substance abuse issues
  • History of domestic violence
  • Mental health concerns

What may happen to my business if I divorce?

Ending a marriage is one of the hardest things a person can do, even if the individual knows it is for the best. Pennsylvania residents who are business owners may be hit particularly hard as their companies are most likely to be affected if they choose to divorce. Some people may think that their companies will remain theirs following the dissolution of their marriage, but the truth is a business may be considered shared marital property -- that is, unless, proper protections are put in place well beforehand.

There are two things that business owners can do to ensure that their companies will be counted as separate property if divorce ever enters the picture. First, before marriage, drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement is a positive step toward protecting one's company. Not only can a premarital contract list what assets are to remain separate property, but terms can also be set as to how shared assets are to be divided if the marriage fails.

Common probate disputes

When a loved one passes away and leaves behind assets, the estate administration process begins. This procedure involves paying debtors and distributing assets to beneficiaries and heirs. As this process involves family, money and property, it can sometimes be contentious.

Probate administration can lead to family arguments and legal showdowns. Here are a few of the most common types of probate disputes.

Pennsylvania divorce: A few things to know about child support

Ending one's marriage is not necessarily easy. There is a lot that needs to be figured out during the divorce process. For example, divorcing couples in Pennsylvania who have children will need to address child custody and support issues -- both of which are often contentious topics.

When it comes to child support in particular, there are a few things every parent should know before agreeing to anything. First, child support payments are not taxable or tax deductible. This means that the receiving party does not have pay taxes on any child support sent his or her way, and the paying party cannot seek a tax deduction simply for meeting his or her financial obligation to his or her children.

What to expect from an executor as a beneficiary

After the passing of a loved one, you may wonder what will happen to his or her estate. If the party has a will and proper estate plan in place, the executor will handle the administration of the estate.

This is an important role that plays a vital part in the estate, so it can be beneficial to understand more about the party. As a beneficiary of the estate, you should know about and expect a few things from the executor. 

Addiction can affect child custody orders

It is an all-too-familiar occurrence these days when a Pennsylvania parent struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. With powerful painkillers available through prescriptions, it does not take long for addiction to take hold, leaving some parents unable to fulfill their parental duties. However, if the parents are divorced and following a court-ordered child custody plan, one partner may have concerns about leaving the children with the addicted parent.

The courts hesitate to get involved with minor disagreements between divorced parents. However, when the wellbeing of the children is at risk, a parent may find assistance through legal channels. If one can demonstrate that drug or alcohol use interferes with the other parent's ability to care for the children and keep them safe, the court may order restrictions on visitation. This may include supervised visitation or, in extreme cases, suspension of contact with the children until the parent completes a rehabilitation program.

How to talk to your parents about your inheritance

If you are curious about your future inheritance, you may not know how to approach the topic. Many families do not openly talk about finances or death. Estate planning and inheritances are often seen as taboo due to cultural discomfort. 

Even if it is an awkward conversation to have, it is an important one. If you do not have a basic understanding of your inheritance and the reasoning behind it, there may be serious family conflicts or probate litigation down the road. Here are a few tips to broach this topic. 

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