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Wexford Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

Postnuptial and prenuptial agreements offer help during divorce

When two individuals decide to marry, they generally expect their marriage to last a long time. The reality, though, is that financial problems may quickly cause the marriage to break down. This is why many couples in Pennsylvania are now creating prenuptial agreements before they say their I Do's. For currently married couples who never put together prenuptial agreements, however, there is still hope. They can create what are called postnuptial agreements, which can help them to protect their financial interests in the same way that prenuptial agreements can during divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is designed to explain two spouses' intentions concerning how they use their earnings as well as their assets while married. It also explains how the two parties would like to address their assets in the event of divorce. A postnuptial agreement similarly describes how the individuals plan to utilize their property while married as well as divide it during a future divorce proceeding.

Child custody issues can complicate holidays

Dissolving a marriage can easily take a toll on a person from an emotional standpoint. This is particularly the case for any parent of a young child -- and especially during the holidays. A couple of tips, however, may help divorcing parents to effectively address the complex combination of the holidays and child custody in Pennsylvania.

In an ideal world, children whose parents have gotten divorced would have the opportunity to spend time with both parents every holiday. The reality, though, is that this may not be feasible. Even if it feasible, conflict can still easily erupt. For example, perhaps both parents agree to let Dad have the kids in the morning and then let Mom have the kids in the afternoon. Mom may show up at Dad's house at noon only to discover that Dad is just now carving his turkey, which means he is not ready to let the children go with Mom just yet.

Divorce can have a silver lining, too

In the United States, including in Pennsylvania, people generally dream of getting married and living in marital bliss long term. This is why divorce can be so painful: it is the opposite of the American dream. Unfortunately, between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who are married end up getting divorced. However, divorce can certainly come with positives as well.

For instance, research shows that three-quarters of couples experience major conflict with in-laws. Specifically, the relationship between the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law tends to be the most difficult to handle. Those who are going through divorce, however, can finally say goodbye to these negative relationships. After all, when people divorce their spouses, they essentially divorce their spouses' family members, too.

Is your decision to divorce a seasonal trend?

The winter holidays are special for many people. It’s a time to go ice skating, drink hot cocoa, build snowmen and … decide to get divorced?

While the holidays may seem to represent familial unity, it can often be the final straw for couples who are already experiencing marital stress. If you are considering divorce during this time of year, research indicates you are likely not alone.

Parents can help to minimize negative effects of divorce on kids

Breaking up with a spouse in Pennsylvania is undoubtedly a difficult event for an adult to experience. Still, just as adults can be negatively impacted by divorce, children can also experience the negative effects of divorce. Fortunately, parents can help to mitigate these negative effects in a couple of ways.

First, parents may want to be open about the divorce rather than trying to keep it a secret. The reality is that the children will find out about the marital breakup at some point, so it is best to be upfront about it early on and tackle it head-on. When informing children about a divorce, taking into consideration how old and mature they are to handle certain details is paramount.

Divorce presents unique challenges for those above 50

The rate of marital dissolution today is relatively high for individuals under age 50. However, the rate of divorce for people over age 50 has doubled since the early 1990s. Although divorce in Pennsylvania can certainly be tough both financially and emotionally at any age, those who are going through divorce later in life face unique challenges compared with their younger counterparts.

For instance, when people get divorced at older ages, they have typically amassed more assets. Splitting this property can be tough even in the most amicable of divorces, as the two parties may not necessarily see eye to eye on how to split their assets in a fair manner. This can ultimately take both an emotional and a financial toll on the couple.

Divorce rate dropping due to millennials

Research shows that millennials in Pennsylvania and elsewhere -- those who are currently in their 20s -- are deciding to stay married. As a result, millennial marriages are lasting a lot longer than the marriages of previous generations did. This, in turn, is causing the national divorce rate to drop drastically.

According to a recent study, young adults today are not getting married as quickly as their predecessors did. During the years leading up to their wedding dates, they are getting their personal goals, career and finances in order. As a result, their relationships are oftentimes healthier than they would have been otherwise.

Divorce can be especially tough on men emotionally

The dissolution of a marriage can be not only financially but also emotionally difficult on both of the spouses going through it. However, research shows that divorce can be especially tough on men. Here are a couple of reasons why men in Pennsylvania and elsewhere may have a hard time navigating the divorce process.

A study recently indicated that men who are divorced are more vulnerable to strokes, heart disease and high blood pressure when compared with married men. In addition, divorced men have a 39 percent greater chance of taking part in risky behavior or even committing suicide. A major reason for this is that men often lose their identities while going through divorce, which, in turn, may cause them to lose their confidence.

Co-parenting after a child custody decision

Divorced couples who share co-parenting duties may struggle to maintain a healthy, productive dynamic and keep focus on the kids. In Pennsylvania, courts determine child custody based on a child’s best interest. This means that if you and a former spouse share legal and/or physical custody of the children, a productive partnership is necessary to prioritize the happiness and wellbeing of the kids.

For co-parents who struggle to maintain civility even in basic conversations, shared parenting duties can seem like insurmountable challenges. Despite the complications of your past relationship, parents need to set aside their own difficulties in favor of maintaining cooperation in co-parenting. To do so, consider some advice to keep focused on the task at hand.

Property division is handled equitably in Pennsylvania

Going through the dissolution of a marriage can no doubt be frustrating emotionally. However, it can also be overwhelming from a financial standpoint, especially when it comes to property division. Here are some tips for dealing with the splitting of marital property during a marital break-up in PA.

Laws concerning the splitting of marital assets vary from one state to the next. For instance, some states are known as community property states, meaning that the courts in these states split a couple's shared assets 50/50. Meanwhile, other states -- including Pennsylvania -- are known as equitable distribution states. In these states, a divorcing couple's jointly owned property does not need to be divided 50/50.

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