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Philadelphia Family Law Blog

Grandparents' right hinge on the children's best interests

Grandparents may want visitation rights after a couple including one of their children gets divorced. They hope that their grandchildren will still be a big part of their lives, and they don't want to lose that connection.

In Pennsylvania, grandparents can get legal visitation rights which are granted by the court. This ensures that they're allowed to see the children, even if they don't get along with one or both of the parents.

Bureau of child support enforcement can help if payments are late

It's not uncommon for Pennsylvania residents -- who are parents and happen to divorce -- to have to pay child support. Most good parents are quite willing to contribute financially to their own children's temporal and future care, even if they no longer wish to be in a marriage to the children's other parent. If you're a custodial parent facing a serious problem with a former spouse who refuses to adhere to an existing court order, you'll be glad to know there are resources available to help you.

Although the money ordered for the other parent to pay is not for you, per se, but for your children, it's understandable you may be relying on those payments to help make ends meet and provide for your children as you move forward in your post-divorce lifestyle together. You never imagined you'd divorce, and you knew you and your kids would not be able to withstand the financial challenges of the situation without assistance from their other parent. If the other parent doesn't make the payments, you can take action to rectify the problem.

3 options when selling your home during divorce

You've owned your home for five years, and now you and your spouse are getting divorced. You think it's worth more than you paid for it, but it's not an asset that you control outright. What can you do with it? There are three basic options, assuming you don't want to go on jointly owning the home even after the divorce -- something that can be problematic if your spouse stops making the payments, as you'd still be liable.

These options are:

  • Sell the house. Right away, divide the profit between the two of you. This is the most common option that people chose. Both partners can then go on and buy their own homes, perhaps using the profit along the way.
  • Sell the house. Divide the profits at a later date. This is less common, but divorce can take a while and you may have your reasons to put off the division.
  • One spouse keeps the house. If your spouse wants it, for instance, he or she just buys out your interest and then refinances the house alone. People often chose this if they're attached to the home for sentimental reasons.

Is it easier to get divorced when you're wealthy?

Do you ever feel like wealthy people and celebrities get divorced more often than anyone else? Some who have studied divorce have come to the conclusion that part of the reason may be economic stability, which makes it easier for the wealthy to split up.

Their theory says that those who aren't wealthy need the support of marriage. When considering divorce, they have to think about questions like:

  • How will they pay the bills on just one income?
  • Can they raise kids and work at the same time?
  • How much is the divorce going to cost?

Grandparents often want to be heavily involved in kids' lives

During divorce, parental rights get a lot of consideration. Who gets to raise the children? Where will they live? Which parent gets to make legal decisions for the kids?

These things are very important, but this focus also means that other family members can be forgotten. In particular, grandparents often desire to be extensively involved, especially if the grandchildren are the first or only ones they have.

Parents need more than child support

Paying child support is a great way for a non-custodial parent to help with raising a child. Kids cost a lot, and child support helps cover a portion of that cost.

That said, experts warn that parents shouldn't assume that it's enough. A person who is paying child support can't just mail off that check every month and feel like he or she is doing 50 percent of the work.

Do you need a protective order while going through divorce?

When you got married, you likely felt an immense love for your spouse. Though you may have only imagined a wonderful future together, you may have developed a fear of your spouse over time. He or she may have had a hair-trigger temper and even caused you to fear that you could suffer physical harm because of his or her actions. As a result, you felt that ending the relationship acted in your best interests.

Unfortunately, even when you want to get out of an abusive situation, doing so can have its difficulties. You may worry how your spouse will react to the divorce filing and whether this action could result in your suffering harm. However, a protective order may help you during this time.

Child support statistics across the United States

It's common to feel a bit lost when working out your divorce agreement and considering child support. How much do people normally pay? What will the judge order you to pay? Is it fair? Is it enough? Is it too much?

Odds are, you haven't done this before. It's all brand new, so you're not sure how to take the information you're being given.

People sometimes take serious risks to hide assets

It may be fraud to hide assets during a divorce, but people still do it. If you're worried that your spouse is stashing away money before the split, you should know that it may be an even bigger risk than you realized. Your spouse may be putting your financial future in jeopardy.

One of the most common ways to hide money is to give it to friends or family members. Sometimes your spouse calls it a loan. Sometimes it's called a repayment for an old debt that was suddenly remembered. Sometimes your spouse says that he or she hired that friend for something -- like a business consultation -- and that's just the fee.

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