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Watch out for an ex who plays 'Christmas games' with custody

Christmas is a tough time for many divorced parents, as they may both feel like they just don't get enough time with the kids. With all the focus on family time and being together, it's not great to spend parts of the holidays alone while your ex has the children at their house.

However, your custody arrangement should address this. It should at least give you a schedule and some legal rights. It may even contain provisions regarding what you do specifically during the holiday season that is different from what you do the rest of the year.

Understand the discovery process before you begin

Deciding to divorce is definitely no small matter. It's a decision you no doubt took quite seriously; in fact, it may be one of the most significant decisions of your lifetime. You may be one of many Pennsylvania spouses who learned early on that yours was not to be a swift and amicable divorce. When you realized that your spouse was determined to make things as difficult as possible, you immediately began to focus on how you can protect your rights and interests.

The discovery process is a legal mechanism that may help you do so. Each state has its own guidelines and laws regarding the process, so you'll want to discuss the topic with someone well-versed in Pennsylvania divorce laws ahead of time. This process can be particularly helpful if you think your spouse is trying to hide assets or otherwise gain the upper-hand in property division proceedings.

If you can't pay child support, are you a 'deadbeat dad?'

The term "deadbeat dad" gets thrown around a lot when people do not pay child support, but it is somewhat stereotypical. It is possible, of course, for both mothers and fathers to fail in their obligations to pay child support. The term is generally applied to men because they have historically been ordered to pay support more often than women, but that is not always the case in the modern world, where women work more often than they did in previous generations.

Another common misconception about the term is that it applies to anyone who does not pay support. In actuality, the problem arises when someone has money to pay support and just refuses to do so, in violation of the court order. That is illegal and it only harms the family.

Your children are not messengers during your divorce

After your divorce, or even during the process when you and your spouse are living separately, your children will likely go back and forth between your two homes. In many cases, this makes them natural messengers. After all, you and your spouse may not be on good terms and may not want to talk yourselves, so you'll just tell your children to communicate for you.

These communications could relate to custody schedules, house rules, medical appointments, school events and much more. Co-parenting after divorce means working together on these things, but you may be tempted to use your children to do it.

How is your spouse hiding money?

With divorce looming, your spouse may have started stashing money aside, trying to hide it and keep it out of the divorce. While people are legally required to disclose all of their assets, many try to hide those assets if they fear that the other party is going to get 50 percent in court.

If you're worried that your spouse is doing so, here are a few common tactics to watch out for:

  • Buying Bitcoin and keeping it a secret. If you have no idea these accounts exist or how Bitcoin even works, it can essentially hide the money.
  • Putting money into offshore accounts. Again, the goal is simply to get the money into an account that you have no knowledge of.
  • Giving money to family members. A sibling may take a "gift" and then give it back when the divorce wraps up.
  • Giving "loans" to friends. These could be disguised as business loans, for instance, even though neither person thinks a business is ever going to start.
  • Lying about income. If your spouse has been planning this for a long time, he or she may have failed to mention raises or told you that earnings were far lower than they really were, all while stashing that extra money aside.

What is acceptable visitation refusal in child custody cases?

Parting with your children can be difficult to do, even if you know that they will be safe in the care of their other parent. If you are a parent who has recently divorced or separated from the other parent of your child, it is likely that it will take some time for you to get used to the new child custody arrangements.

If your child custody arrangement has been ordered by the courts, you may be uncomfortable with the way it is set up for one reason or another. If you are extremely uncomfortable with this, you may consider refusing visitation. It is important to understand when it is acceptable to refuse visitation and what the consequences can be.

Joint custody: Will it work best for your Pennsylvania family?

When going through divorce, parents are naturally concerned with what will happen to their kids and how often they will get to see them. Often, the desire to protect the interests of the kids motivates Pennsylvania parents to work together on a parenting plan out of court. Parents and family courts alike see the many benefits of joint custody arrangements.

To make a joint custody arrangement work, it does not necessarily mean you will have to like the other parent or even get along with him or her. It does, however, mean you will need to understand your role and be willing to set the needs of your children above all else. It may be helpful to first understand how joint custody works and what it may mean for your unique situation.

Keeping your grandchildren safe by gaining custody

As a grandparent, it is likely that you have a close bond with your grandchildren and that you will do anything that you can in order to protect them. If you are having concerns about the well-being of your grandchildren, it is important that you understand what you can do in order to protect them.

If you are worried that your grandchildren are suffering because their parents are abusing alcohol or drugs, or if you suspect that they are being abused or neglected, it is important to take appropriate action.

Common questions about restraining orders

If you have a reason to be fearful of a romantic partner, a family member or a person that you share accommodation with, it is important that you take action to protect yourself. It is possible to gain an emergency protection order if you find yourself in a threatening situation.

Protection orders tend to be very effective methods because of the consequences that come with their violation. If you are fearful of violence in the household, it is vital to remember the ways that the law can protect you.

Understanding the mistakes people make in a high-asset divorce

In a divorce, when there is more to gain, there is also more to lose. This is why going through a high-asset divorce can be particularly stressful. High-asset divorces make it more likely that spouses will become ruthless and sneaky in terms of the strategies that they play against each other.

It is possible to reach the other side of a high-asset divorce successfully and with dignity, however. By avoiding some common mistakes and asking the right questions, you will be on the right path to do just that.

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