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Philadelphia Family Law Blog

Custody should factor into your property division settlement

You know that your divorce will impact your children, but you want what is best for them. That is why you and the other parent chose to co-parent together. This option allows you to provide your kids a way to maintain strong relationships with both of you. In many cases, this is best for the kids, but it could also be quite expensive for Pennsylvania parents. If you are thinking about co-parenting, you should think about the cost. 

Co-parenting comes with more expenses than you may think. This is why it is in your interests to pursue a property division settlement that is going to work for you long-term. When you are negotiating terms or fighting for a reasonable outcome, don't forget to factor in the costs you may incur by having your children a significant amount of time. Divorce is going to bring financial changes, and you'd be wise to prepare for them now.

Child custody, co-parenting and back to school season

Co-parenting is difficult enough when everything is going as planned. However, when you throw a wrench into things, such as changes with the back-to-school season, you must pivot your approach to ensure that everything remains on track.

Here are some tips to help you get in the right frame of mind during back-to-school season:

  • Revisit the past: What worked for you, your ex and your children last year? Can you use the same approach this year? You can learn a lot from the past, so don't hide from it.
  • Talk with your ex: For example, if your ex has visitation rights, they may need to adjust their schedule now that school is back in session. Talking with your ex helps avoid a situation in which one or both of you is taken by surprise.
  • Set a schedule: Co-parenting is much easier when you have a schedule that you, your ex and your children can follow. Maybe it outlines who takes your children to school and on what days. Or maybe it sheds light on which parent will help their children with their homework, and when. A schedule can answer a variety of questions before they come to light.

What’ll happen to your vacation home in a divorce?

Should you decide to divorce your spouse, your attention will soon turn toward the many assets that you own together. While your family home is important to you, the same holds true of any vacation property you own together.

There's no right or wrong way to approach a vacation home in divorce, but that doesn't mean you should sit back and let the chips fall where they may. You must take steps to protect your legal rights.

Does my child support obligation or award change if I remarry?

Judges often base their post-divorce child support payments on a parent's financial situation at a particular moment in time. However, as circumstances change, so does the amount of support a person can expect to receive.

A former spouse's financial landscape may change if they remarry, have a new child, adopt a child or take on a husband or wife with kids. These new financial responsibilities may limit how much a supporting spouse can pay.

How to prevent a co-parenting dispute before it starts

When co-parenting after divorce, your goal is to provide your children with stability. Unfortunately, doing so is often easier said than done, as your ex-spouse may not be taking the same approach as you.

There are many ways to prevent a co-parenting dispute before it starts, including the following:

  • Lean on your parenting plan: You created a parenting plan during your divorce for a reason. It's designed to provide both parents with a clear idea of their legal rights. When you follow your plan, you can't go wrong.
  • Communicate: It's not always easy to communicate with your ex, especially if you went through a contentious divorce. However, if you don't communicate, you increase the likelihood of a dispute. From texting to phone calls, you have options.
  • Take a breather: If you see a dispute coming, step back and calm yourself down. Don't continue with the conversation, as it's not likely to lead you down the path you're hoping for. Regardless of what your ex is doing or saying, remain calm.
  • Put your children first: When you and your ex always put your children first, it's easier to find common ground when resolving disputes.

What are your most valuable assets?

As you prepare for the divorce process, it's natural to second guess your decision and have concerns about the future. Even if you weren't happy in your marriage, you may have had financial stability. And that's not something that's easy to give up.

However, life's about more than money, so you realize that divorce is the best way for a fresh start.

What does child support cover in Pennsylvania?

It doesn't matter if you're making child support payments or receiving child support payments, it's important to have a firm grasp on how the money is to be used.

For example, if you're paying child support, it's natural to have concerns about how the funds are being used. You want to make sure that your ex-spouse is using the money on your children, as opposed to their personal desires or hobbies.

How to best prepare for a high asset divorce

The way you prepare for a high asset divorce won't be exactly the same as the next person, such as your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. However, when you have a plan in place that suits your particular wants and needs, you'll be more confident as you head into the process.

Here are three simple steps you can take to prepare for a high asset divorce:

  • Create a checklist of all your assets: Every asset you own, regardless of the value, should be included on the list. Furthermore, make note of whether or not you solely own the asset or if it's marital property.
  • Be prepared to compromise: Even with a detailed plan in mind, you won't get everything you want from your divorce. You must prepare to compromise, with the idea that you can still be happy with the end result.
  • Plan for the future: You're focused on the here and now, but you must also turn some of your attention to the future, such as where you'll live and how you'll earn an income. Doing this early on allows you to make more informed decisions during your divorce.

Get organized with a property division checklist

Dividing marital property in divorce is easier said than done, as both you and your soon to be ex-spouse have the same goal of obtaining as many assets as possible.

The best way to get organized is by creating a property division checklist. This does the following:

  • Provides a comprehensive list of every asset you own
  • Places a value on your assets
  • Allows you to draw the line between individual and marital property

Do these things to prepare for co-parenting post-divorce

Even after your divorce is in the past, you may still find yourself regularly communicating with your ex-spouse. This is the case when the two of you are working together to co-parent your children.

While there's nothing simple about co-parenting, there are steps you can take to prepare for it. Here are some things to think about:

  • Review your parenting agreement: Once you agree on all the terms and conditions of your parenting agreement, carefully review it to ensure that you understand it. This will govern how you parent your children in the future, so you should have a clear idea of what you can and can't do.
  • Find a way to communicate efficiently: Thanks to technology, there are many ways to communicate with your ex when co-parenting. You no longer have to rely solely on face-to-face conversations. If easier, you can use texting and email to your advantage.
  • Talk to your children: It's important to remember that you and your ex aren't at the center of your co-parenting. Everything should revolve around your children. Talk to them about the future, how your parenting agreement works and what they can expect. And of course, prepare yourself to answer any questions they may have.
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