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Collaborate. Mediate. Separate. Divorce Doesn’t Have to Mean War.

Family Law Archives

Taking tax deductions for alimony

If alimony has been awarded as part of a Pennsylvania divorce, the person paying the alimony may be able to take a tax deduction on the amount paid. However, there are several conditions that must be in place. The people must not be living in the same household, and the agreement cannot specify that the alimony is not taxable or deductible. The obligation must be one that ends on the death of the person being paid. Most importantly, the alimony has to be part of a formal legal divorce agreement.

Child support and parental involvement

Pennsylvania fathers who do not have a good relationship with their child's mother and who work fewer hours might be less likely to be current on child support based on the results of a study that appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family in February 2017. Researchers say that the study found that fathers who were behind on child support also spent less time with their children, but they identified a number of other factors that might have contributed to falling behind in support. These fathers were also more likely to have other children by different mothers and to have been incarcerated.

Co-parenting can shield children from the trauma of divorce

Contentious child custody disputes may be less frequent as Pennsylvania family law judges tend to lean toward co-parenting solutions whenever possible. This is because these decisions are made with the child's best interests in mind, and research shows that children are happier and less likely to develop crippling emotional problems when they receive care and supervision from both of their parents.

The effect of domestic violence on child custody decisions

No Pennsylvania parent should ever have to be the victim of domestic violence. Unfortunately, statistics show that cases of this type of physical and emotional abuse are on the rise across the country. This can have a profound effect on children who are the subject of it or who witness it being inflicted on one of their parents by the other. Some studies have shown that it can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Income tax considerations for divorcing spouses

Disputes over property division and spousal support are not uncommon for divorcing couples in Pennsylvania and around the country, but approaching negotiations with clear and realistic goals can sometimes reduce tension and conflict and lead to a more amicable outcome. Spouses sometimes agree to give up their claims to assets such as stocks and bonds, furniture or artwork in return for higher alimony payments, but they should bear in mind that such arrangements can have consequences when it comes time to file their income tax returns.

How the Hague Convention stops international child abductions

Pennsylvania parents who are divorcing and whose relationship has an international component might be concerned about one of the parents taking their child abroad in contravention of a custody order. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is intended to protect against these abductions, and more than 90 countries including the United States are signatories.

Pennsylvania parents and post-divorce holiday issues

Pennsylvania parents whose marriages are ending may find that coming to a fair visitation arrangement for the holidays is one of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process. The holidays are generally focused on family gatherings, which can make the initial adjustment period after a divorce difficult. Co-parenting during the holidays involves putting the children first and fostering an amicable relationship between the parents, if possible. Former celebrity couple Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey accomplish this by prioritizing their twins and focusing on family. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin continue to take family vacations together with their children.

Substance abuse and its effect on child custody

Pennsylvania parents should be aware of the various factors that can influence a custody battle. For example, when news broke that Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick would be splitting up, much of the resulting attention was focused on how the breakup would affect their three children. One expert has speculated that Disick might be the one to end up with custody despite a history of substance abuse. Contrary to popular belief, having a history of drug and alcohol abuse does not necessarily mean a parent cannot gain custody. The same is true of parents with histories of partner abuse, mental health issues and criminality, according to experts in family law.

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