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Harrisburg Divorce Legal Blog

What does equitable distribution mean?

When you enter the divorce process, you must figure out how to divide your marital property and debt. If you can come to an agreement with your spouse in regards to who gets what, you can come to a decision that makes sense for both of you. But if you disagree with one another, a judge may need to decide what happens in terms of property distribution.

Family court judges make decisions based on the law and unique factors about your marriage. The overall goal of property division in Pennsylvania is "equitable distribution." In essence, this means the property division must be fair, which may not necessarily be a 50/50 split.

3 things to consider before filing for Chapter 7

Many Harrisburg area residents who are contemplating Chapter 7 bankruptcy find the idea of a clean debt slate alluring. They can no longer deal with the harassing phone calls, endless bills and wage garnishments that have become a part of their daily lives. A fresh start is often the reset that they need to regain their financial footing and control of their lives. 

As desirable as Chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem, it is not an ideal solution for everyone. This option is best for people who find themselves with limited financial resources and unsecured debts. Those who have modest incomes and a means to repay their debts over several years may find Chapter 13 bankruptcy a more beneficial solution. Regardless of the type of bankruptcy filing one pursues, it is not a quick panacea. Here are a few considerations all potential Chapter 7 filers should consider. 

How to avoid parental alienation in divorce

Parental alienation is one of the most severe problems that can arise in a divorce. Determining child custody is hard enough, but it becomes even harder when one parent actively tries to brainwash the child to believe the other parent conspires against him or her. 

Research indicates parental alienation occurs in approximately 11 to 15% of all divorces. If you and your spouse plan on divorcing, then you need to work together to ensure this phenomenon does not happen to your children. Preventing this form of alienation is sure to keep everyone happier through this tumultuous time. 

What to know about filing taxes after a divorce

Splitting up with your spouse brings with it inevitable change, and you may find yourself adjusting to new custody arrangements, new budget constraints and even a new place to live in the aftermath of a divorce. Your needs and requirements as far as filing your taxes will also change once you officially split from your one-time partner, and recognizing how your divorce will impact your taxes may help you avoid making unnecessary errors.

So, what is it you need to know about filing your taxes after a divorce?

3 tips for making it through the holidays during bankruptcy

The holiday season can easily break the bank no matter your financial situation, but it can be especially difficult during bankruptcy. Whether you are considering bankruptcy or already in the process of filing, the thought of buying gifts and decorations can leave you feeling helpless.

While it may seem like a daunting task, it is possible to get through the holidays on a bankruptcy budget. All it takes is creating a budget, communicating expectations and getting creative. 

Property division includes gifts, memberships and more

If you are facing divorce, it would be a good idea to begin making a list of your assets. Pennsylvania is an equitable division state, so there will not necessarily be a fifty-fifty split of assets. The list you make will be helpful to your attorney, so you want to include any assets you can think of.

You will probably begin by listing the obvious items, such as your home, automobiles, bank accounts and credit cards, but keep going. Here are six assets you might overlook when you are developing that list.

Top 5 reasons people file consumer bankruptcy

The bankruptcy numbers in America are troubling. According to statistics from the United States Courts, 767,721 people filed for consumer bankruptcy in 2017. If you are experiencing financial troubles, it is clear you are not alone. 

Know that you should never feel alone or ashamed about declaring bankruptcy. To help you make your choice, here are five of the most common causes of consumer bankruptcy in the United States:

Understanding the bankruptcy means test

If you are thinking about possibly filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering what type of bankruptcy filing might suit your specific needs. Many people who file for personal bankruptcy protection do so through either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, but there are some important distinctions between the two types.

Chapter 7 bankruptcies, for example, are reserved for people who have limited incomes, while Chapter 13 bankruptcies typically require that you have at least some "disposable income" you can use to put toward debts. If you wish to proceed with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, you must first pass what is known as the bankruptcy means test.

When your child's other parent is a substance abuser

If you have reason to believe your child's other parent may be abusing drugs, you probably have concerns about the level of care your son or daughter is receiving during his or her time with that parent. Maybe your child is young and you worry about him or her finding and potentially ingesting substances he or she should not, or maybe you worry about your former partner driving your child around while under the influence.

Regardless of your specific concerns, know that parental drug abuse can impact your child's other parent's ability to maintain visitation and custody. Whether parental drug abuse will ultimately affect these areas will likely vary to some extent based on the type of drug abused, the length of the parent's addiction and so on. Here is a closer look at how drug abuse can impact your former partner's ability to parent.

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