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Gettysburg Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

How to value a company in a divorce

For those who get divorced in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, their company could be their biggest asset. Therefore, it is important to know how much it is worth to ensure that a fair settlement can be reached when dividing it at the end of the marriage. Knowing how much the company is worth can also be useful if one person has to buy out the other as part of a settlement.

It is critical for business owners to find out what their company should be valued at. There is no room for guessing or estimating; an independent appraiser should be hired to complete this task. This is usually a good idea even if the other spouse is transparent about how much money the company makes, what its liabilities are and what it could make in the future.

How to make financial plans for divorce

People in Pennsylvania who are getting a divorce might wonder how they can prepare financially. A first step is to gather copies of as many financial documents as possible. If a person anticipates the divorce becoming contentious, it may be a good idea to put these somewhere safe such as with a loved one or in a safe deposit box.

Checking credit reports is also a good idea. People should look over any shared accounts and make sure they are not being abused. A person should also consider setting up a personal account if the couple has joint accounts, and people who do not have their own line of credit might want to apply for a credit card. In some cases, it is possible to get a credit card using household income.

How mediation may help resolve divorce issues

Pennsylvania couples who are getting a divorce may try to resolve property division and child custody arrangements through mediation instead of litigation. In mediation, a neutral third party attempts to assist the other parties to resolve conflict and reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both of them.

Mediation is not a formal process, but there are usually certain rules that must be followed. The mediator will usually go over these rules at the beginning of a session. Confidentiality is a rule for most sessions. Each party or each party's representative then usually makes opening statements. Conversation may proceed from here, but if the mediation starts to break down, the mediator will usually separate both parties. The mediator then speaks to each party confidentially and relays offers back and forth between the two. Mediation does not have to lead to an agreement, and couples may turn to litigation if it is unsuccessful.

How to protect finances during a divorce

Pennsylvania residents are no strangers to the emotional anguish that comes with the dissolution of a marriage. Although divorce tends to be a desperate last resort for unhappy couples, it is still very strenuous for everyone involved, especially if there are kids involved.

It is important for people to be prepared when embarking on divorce negotiations, including doing everything in their power to protect their money. This should include closing joint bank accounts and establishing separate ones. People should check their credit reports to make sure that all entries are accounted for and that the other spouse has not run up secret charges. It might be wise to get a private post office box for future divorce-related correspondence.

Informal negotiations may eliminate the need for a divorce trial

After years of struggling to keep your marriage afloat without success, you are relieved to finally kiss your marriage goodbye. However, you immediately tense up when you think about having to fight over money and other assets with your soon-to-be ex at trial.

The reality is that you may be able to avoid going to trial altogether as you move forward with your marital breakup. Informal negotiations are oftentimes an effective way for married couples in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to resolve their divorce disputes without further court intrusion.

Military divorce rate much higher for women

The divorce rate for people in the military in Pennsylvania and across the United States has remained approximately the same for four years. In fiscal year 2017, the rate hovered between 3 percent and 3.1 percent, as it has since 2013. Throughout the year, around 21,290 servicemembers received a divorce; this number comes out of the 689,060 members of the armed forces who are currently married. The data was released in March 2018 by the Department of Defense.

The rate fell slightly from the previous year, when around 22,500 people divorced out of 707,230 marriages. This rate is calculated by simple calculations that look at the number of married members of the military at the beginning of a year and the number of divorces that took place that same year. Additional information can be learned by digging more deeply into the statistics. In general, women in the military continue to have a much higher rate of divorce than men. For female Marines, the divorce rate is particularly high, sitting at 7.1 percent down from a high of 9 percent in 2010.

Federal agency aims to improve child support enforcement

Dealing with the burden of unpaid child support can be difficult and overwhelming for many Pennsylvania families struggling to pay the bills. Since delinquent child support can wreak such havoc on the lives and well-being of the children involved, enforcement mechanisms are highly needed. One of the most successful and widely used implementation mechanisms for child support payments has been payroll withholding at the point of employment. The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) reported that in fiscal year 2016, $33 billion in child support payments was collected through its systems. Of that number, 75 percent was collected through payroll withholding from people's job.

As this type of child support enforcement can be so necessary for the children, the OCSE is working to improve and streamline processes by connecting with state agencies, payroll processors and employers. New hire and follow-up reporting can be problematic. While all employers are required to report new hires within 20 days and then file quarterly follow-up reports, the use of multiple identification numbers on subsequent reports can foil efforts to identify delinquent parents and enforce an order. The agency is working to establish mechanisms to clearly identify workers.

Properly dividing retirement assets for a divorce

One of the many assets that Pennsylvania couples may have to divide during a divorce is their retirement money. These funds can represent the largest amount of cash the couple has.

If individuals do not take the appropriate steps when dividing retirement accounts, they could face high penalties and taxes as well as the realization that they may have given the other party more of their retirement money than necessary. To avoid such results, it is important that people remember that the different types of retirement account have their own rules that dictate how the accounts should be divided.

What is a QDRO and do you need one?

At one time, you and your spouse may have talked about what your life would look like after each of you retire. Perhaps you wanted to travel more together, spend more time with the grandkids or find a quiet spot to live out your golden years together. To that end, you began faithfully contributing to a retirement plan through your employment.

Now, those dreams of retirement together have come to an end. You face divorce, and more than likely, other than your marital home, your retirement plan is your biggest asset. Even though you earned the money in the account, you discover that your retirement account is part of the marital estate, and your spouse is entitled to a share of it. You may not be happy about having to share that account in the divorce, but you are even less happy about the prospect of paying an early withdrawal penalty.

How and why to make a divorce plan while married

Some Pennsylvania couples who are getting married might want to consider a prenuptial agreement. Divorce may be far from their mind, but they can think of it as a safety precaution. Married couples can create a postnuptial agreement. Both documents lay out plans for how property will be divided in a divorce, and the first one can also identify assets and debts the couple bring into the marriage that they want to keep separate.

Before getting married, people might want to have some assets appraised. For example, a business can be difficult to get a value for, so having this baseline could be helpful later. Another step people can take to protect themselves financially in case of divorce is setting up separate bank accounts. Even if the couple primarily uses a joint account, a separate bank account can be used to manage separate assets.

Law Office of
Katrina Luedtke LLC

Law Office of Katrina Luedtke LLC
43 West Middle Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone: 717-253-9951
Fax: 717-420-2151
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