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8 excuses about missed child support payments

Your ex is supposed to pay child support. You haven't seen those checks in months. Things are getting tight financially and you need help.

People often rationalize their lack of payment, even if it breaks a court order and is illegal. Below are eight of the most common things they say when they get to court:

  1. I'll be able to make the payments soon, or even tomorrow.
  2. I'm waiting for my tax refund, and then I'll even up the back payments.
  3. I lost my job, but I'm trying to get another one. I just had an interview.
  4. I'm disabled. I'm trying to get benefits.
  5. I'm about to start my new job this week. If I go to jail, I'll lose it and then I'll never be able to pay.
  6. I thought the money was paid already.
  7. I have been paying some of the money, just not everything.
  8. I have another family and more kids. I can't afford to pay support for the children who don't live with me when I already have to pay for the kids who do live with me.

Tips for working with an ex who is a business partner

You and your spouse had a terrific business idea. Five years after you opened your doors, the company is worth $2.5 million.

Your marriage, however, isn't doing nearly as well. You're going to get divorced. You've been assuming you'll have to buy your spouse out or sell the company and split up the proceeds.

A trust may protect an inheritance during divorce

Technically speaking, an inheritance that your parents gave you may already be protected during divorce, especially if your parents' will specified that the money was not for your spouse.

That said, this does take some work on your end. You generally have to keep that inheritance money separate from your family's other funds. If you don't, it's called commingling, and your spouse may then be able to claim he or she also has a right to that significant asset.

Is sharing custody the right choice for your family?

The decision to divorce is one that will certainly impact the youngest members of the family. While the end of a marriage will affect the children, it is possible to provide them with an environment and schedule that allows for emotional security and continuity of lifestyle, even long after a divorce is final.

One of the ways that some Pennsylvania families do this is by choosing shared custody. Custody arrangements do not have to be contentious, but it is possible for you and the other parent to find a way to share custody and allow your children to have a strong relationship with both biological parents. Shared or joint custody may be the right choice for your family.

Custody decisions: Who can pick up your kids?

As you move through your divorce, you know that you and your ex are going to have to make custody decisions and come up with a parenting plan. While doing this, remember that there are many questions to ask, some of which don't even involve you or your ex.

For example, who can pick up your kids?

Is that retirement fund marital property?

You and your spouse have a retirement fund, and you thought you'd get to use it to enjoy your golden years without worrying about money. You dreamed of vacations in the winter and long summer afternoons on the porch.

Now, you and your spouse are splitting up. Suddenly, you start worrying about that retirement fund. It's technically your spouse's fund. Is it marital property, or are you going to lose it?

Do men or women fail to pay child support more often?

The stereotype says that mothers will be awarded child support and fathers will have to pay. That is true in the majority of cases, but the reality is that many mothers are also ordered to pay support to fathers.

So, who fails to pay more often? It depends how you define "more often."

House Bill 175 focuses on domestic violence homicides

In Pennsylvania, House Bill 175 was recently introduced. The goal of the bill is to cut back on the total number of homicides in the state that are related to domestic violence.

For starters, the bill would work just to train law enforcement officers more thoroughly in this specific area. There are cases where police officers may know that a situation is dangerous, but they never realize it's going to go so far until someone is killed. The bill sets up a Lethality Assessment Program, which would ideally make it easier for police to see the potential for a homicide in advance and then take steps to prevent it.

What could happen to your 401(k) during divorce?

As part of your employment, you may have received the benefit of having a 401(k) retirement account. You may have found this benefit comforting as you invested money in your financial security during retirement. However, because you now face divorce, you may wonder what will happen to this account during asset division proceedings.

If you created a prenuptial agreement, you may have taken steps to protect your retirement funds. Of course, not everyone chooses to or remembers to address these assets in such a document, and as a result, you may not have a clear idea of how to divide your 401(k). Because they have certain specifications, dividing these accounts can sometimes prove complicated.

Business owners: Paying yourself a good salary helps in divorce

You own a business. You know that a chief executive officer (CEO) in your position would be paid about $100,000 per year. Your company makes enough, but you don't want to pay yourself so much. You'd rather make $40,000 and put the other $60,000 back into your company.

From a business perspective, this might make sense. If you can still pay the bills and make ends meet, why waste money? Putting that extra cash back into the company helps it grow.

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