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Harrisburg Divorce Legal Blog

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.

How your child benefits from your joint-custody arrangement

Adjusting to a joint-custody arrangement can prove difficult for the entire family. While you have to adapt to spending time without your child, your child has to adjust to life in two homes along with everything that comes with it. While you may at times feel as if you are doing your child a disservice by forcing him or her to shuffle back and forth between homes regularly, you may, in fact, be doing what is best for his or her emotional well-being.

Per Time, a recent study on the living arrangements of children of divorced parents revealed that kids who spent time living with both of their divorced parents fared better emotionally than those who lived with only one parent.

How divorce can lead to bankruptcy

Watching your marriage fall apart can not only devastate you emotionally, it can also significantly impact your finances. According to the Huffington Post, one of the most common reasons people file for bankruptcy is divorce. When you experience financial difficulties on top of the emotional strains of marriage, it can feel like everything is caving in on you.

However, you do not need to feel ashamed about considering bankruptcy. Although going bankrupt may sound completely negative, it can actually give you a necessary fresh start to your finances. Here are some reasons a divorce may lead you to bankruptcy: 

Top 3 reasons Americans file for bankruptcy

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may have concerns about whether there is a stigma attached to doing so and whether others might get the impression you are unable to manage your finances on your own. Contrary to popular belief, however, most people who file for bankruptcy do not get there because of reckless spending.

Instead, bankruptcy can offer a fresh start to those who find themselves in financial distress, and many who utilize it find they need it for similar reasons that have little, if anything, to do with irresponsibility. More specifically, most people who file for bankruptcy make the decision to do so because of:

How child support positively impacts the family

If you pay or receive child support in Pennsylvania, your child will experience many benefits, and you and your child’s other parent may, too, enjoy benefits that might include an improved relationship. Child support is money paid by one parent to the other for the purpose of providing for a child’s needs, with the money frequently going toward food, housing, health care costs and other necessities.

In addition to helping give your child the things he or she needs, collecting or receiving child support can:

  • Give unwed fathers an opportunity to pursue child custody or visitation
  • Give a child access to a father’s employee and Social Security benefits
  • Give a child inheritance rights in the event of his or her father’s passing
  • Improve a child’s odds of being successful in school
  • Allow a child to have a better understanding of his or her family history
  • Make a child less likely to become pregnant as a teen

3 tips for a successful Chapter 13 filing

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a solution many people seek when confronted with a burden of debt they cannot repay. This option is also referred to as a wage earner’s plan because it is tailored to individuals with regular income who need to restructure their debt payment plan. According to statistics from the United States Courts, filings for Chapter 13 appear to be decreasing, but these three tips are still important.

Taking the following advice can help you prevent a failed bankruptcy, appearance of fraud or a prolonged negotiation. No matter what stage of the bankruptcy process you are in, these tips are essential for ensuring it goes smoothly and you achieve the debt relief you need.

Debt division in a Pennsylvania divorce

The largest and most contentious part of divorce without children is the division of marital property. You and your spouse may be fighting over who gets what. However, one aspect to remember is that assets are not the only divided property in a divorce – debt is, too.

Understanding debt division in Pennsylvania may influence which assets you decide to keep and how you decide to handle joint debt.

How does a Chapter 13 bankruptcy work?

If, like so many others in Pennsylvania, you face financial stress and debt, bankruptcy can present an optimal solution. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are two types of bankruptcy proceedings that can help individuals get back on a sound financial footing.

The main characteristic of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the repayment plan. Typically, Chapter 13 repayment plans cover three to five years, during which you make agreed-upon monthly payments to your creditors. At the end of this period, your remaining debts may be discharged. Some plans may provide complete repayment for all eligible debt.

Bankruptcy knowledge can help you make a personal choice

The idea of bankruptcy might make you wince. Maybe you feel as though you should be able to overcome the mountain of debt that piled up due to various hardships in your life. While the hopes of overcoming debilitating debt through repayment is admirable, sometimes such hope is unrealistic and even damaging to the course of your life and the life of your family.

Matters as common as home repairs, medical bills, job loss and divorce can all result in significant financial hardships. There is no promise that life will be easy, but sometimes the troubles keep arising and put well-intended men and women in a crisis of insurmountable debt.

If you have found yourself in a similar situation, do not simply dismiss bankruptcy as an option. Legal options like Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy exist for a reason: to help people discover a fresh start and find secure financial footing once again. In order to get to that happier, more stable place, you need some information and the experienced support of a thoughtful bankruptcy lawyer.

Child custody plans make life easier after divorce

Pennsylvania parents who are ending their marriages might encounter situations that, if not handled appropriately, might result emotionally harmful to their children. While most will say that everything they plan to do after a divorce will be in the best interest of the child, often, emotions and life situations might lead to different results.

A custody plan is one tool that divorced couples can use to provide stability and continuity for the children after a divorce. While a plan that is too full of details might make it easier for one of the parents to violate the agreement, a custody plan needs to be detailed in order to anticipate conflicts and prevent situations from escalating. A strong plan includes the visitation schedule for the parents, and it can include visitations by extended family such as grandparents and aunts and uncles. It should also include information about child support, the children's schooling, health concerns and even what rules will be followed at both homes. A solid plan also includes set times for the parents to meet to discuss and resolve any issues that do come up.

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