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Philadelphia Family Law Blog

How uninsured medical expenses affect child support

Child support is usually ordered for the everyday needs of the child, whether it's food and clothing, support towards housing costs, or extracurricular activities. However sometimes unexpected circumstances arise in a child's life that cause them to require medical treatment.

If the child does not have medical insurance, or the treatment they require is not covered by medical insurance, the bills for such treatment are likely to be quite high. Typically, the primary caregiver, notably the parent who does not pay child support, will have to pay the entirety of these bills out-of-pocket. Expenses such as these are referred to as "extraordinary" expenses, since the exceed the cost of typical day-to-day expenses and have not been budgeted for.

Influencing the child custody decision as a father

If you are a father of dependent children and you have recently gone through a divorce, it is likely that you are now going through the difficult process of establishing how you will co-parent with your former spouse. Establishing a custody agreement is never easy, and as a father, you may feel as though the odds are stacked against you. However, it is important to remember that the courts never make decisions based on the gender of the parent, but rather upon who can provide the children with the best possible care.

Therefore, if you are a father who wants to gain full custody of your children, it is important to know that it is completely possible as long as you can show that you will provide the care and support that is in the best interests of your children.

Could your marriage be saved by a postnup?

If you declined to draft and sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying your spouse, you might think that there is nothing else that you can do at this point. But that may not be the case.

At any point after your marriage, you and your spouse can freely enter into a postnuptial agreement stipulating certain terms and/or financial arrangements should the marriage end.

Household violence and child custody

When child custody arrangements are made in Pennsylvania custody courts, the best interests of the child are always taken into account. Therefore, the judge will do what he or she can to ensure that the child in question will not be subject to violence or have to witness violence in the home while staying with either parent.

Therefore, if there have been any allegations of domestic abuse or another form of violence in relation to one of the parents, the courts will take this very seriously. They will conduct an investigation to determine how this allegation may have affected the child, and what future risk it poses. If you are a parent who is worried about the other custodian's ability to keep your child safe, it is important to consider child custody modification, especially if there have been allegations of domestic violence.

Taking steps to safeguard your future during a high asset divorce

Going through the end of a marriage can be a stressful experience, and the outcome of the situation could have a substantial impact on your life. If you possess a considerable amount of wealth, the process may be even more complex, and you might be feeling somewhat uncertain about your financial future.

While a high asset divorce will inherently affect you financially, there may be certain precautions you can take to help protect your future. However, without previous experience for these circumstances, you might be feeling somewhat overwhelmed and unsure how best to approach the situation.

What to do when you are struggling to pay child support

Child support orders are created with the intention of being fair to all parties involved. Therefore, there is a conscious effort made to ensure that the person who is paying for the child support is able to afford the payments. The child support order in Pennsylvania is always assessed based upon the needs of the child and on the income of the parent who intends to pay.

When circumstances regarding income change, for example, if you as the child support payee becomes unemployed, you may struggle to meet the payments that you owe. If you find yourself in this situation, it is very important that you take action as soon as possible to request a child support modification.

How to choose a neutral child custody exchange site

When it comes to exchanging custody of your children you should keep it quick and painless. If you don't get along with the other parent or you might not even be allowed to be within 100 feet of the other parent, it's best to find a neutral site to make the custody exchange in so everyone involved feels comfortable.

If you do not have a good relationship with the other parent of your children, you should never exchange custody at either parent's home. These are not neutral sites. One parent will always have the upper hand when performing an exchange at home.

Pennsylvania's domestic violence screening tool expands

A program put in place to identify individuals at risk of domestic violence -- and stop a situation from escalating -- has now been expanded into 45 counties in Pennsylvania.

The plan, known as the Lethality Assessment Program, was initiated five years ago in just 18 counties. It is eventually intended to expand to all 67 counties in the state.

Explaining how retirement assets are handled during divorce

Going through a divorce in Philadelphia is never easy. Even if you are going through your second or third divorce, it can still be difficult to handle. You need to make informed, smart decisions during the entire process. That includes figuring out how your retirement assets are divided between you and your soon-to-be ex. The best way to protect your rights is through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

As you look further into what a QDRO can do, you will find that it handles more than just the division of retirement assets. It can also impact alimony, property division and child support. It is a court ordered document that can be enforced with the help of your divorce attorney.

Divorce need not ruin your children's lives

The joys and rewards children often bring to family life are many. Like most Pennsylvania parents, you're likely very proud of your children and never hesitate to show their latest pictures to friends and family or laud their efforts and achievements at school or on a sports team. When you decided the time had come to tell your kids you were getting divorced, you worried about how they'd take the news.  

Perhaps things went better than you'd imagined at first, then days later, you began to notice some of the emotional impact your situation was having on your children. Maybe one child was staying in her room more than usual or another was acting out and becoming very rebellious. There's no secret formula for helping children navigate divorce, unscathed. However, there are many available resources to help them fare as well as possible.  

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