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Harrisburg Pennsylvania Divorce Blog

Keep the house; I want the dog.

Divorce not only impacts the human members of our families, but that of our beloved pets’ lives as well. Ask any Family Law Attorney and they can tell you a story about a divorce that dragged on for years over the custody of a family pet, even after all the marital asset issues had been settled. Harrisburg has now begun the process to recognize our emotional attachment to our non-human family-members by proposing a new legislation.

When people think of custody, most think of children. This may soon change, as a bipartisan bill, House Bill No. 1652, was introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives this past summer. This Bill is still being considered at the Judiciary Committee, but if it becomes law, the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations statutes will include criteria on how to determine the “custody” for pets during the proceedings of a divorce. Court officers and Judges will be able to decide to whom our “companion animals” should be awarded while settling a divorce action by weight of several factors in creating a decision.

4 common myths about money and divorce

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, you may wonder how the court will divide your and your spouse’s finances. Additionally, questions often arise regarding which assets your spouse is entitled to receive.

Because divorce laws are complex, the financial aspects of divorce proceedings can be misunderstood. Below are four myths people often have about the financial implications of divorce.

New bill promises VA appeals process overhaul

The delays and long waits associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs are well known. When a rejected disability claim is appealed, that makes a slow process even slower. Stars and Stripes, published by the Department of Defense, reports that 12 percent of total benefits claims are appealed.

Currently, the VA has 340,000 pending benefits claims and additional 83,000 backlogged claims. With this workload, it means that giving cases a second review is another job in an already overflowing inbox. Last month, President Trump signed a bill to accelerate the appeals process and make it easier to get status updates.

Retirement or disability pay? Divorced veterans should know

As a veteran with 20 or more years of military service, you understand the definition of personal sacrifice. Performing your duties required an immense amount of time and energy, and for some, came at the price of physical or mental wellbeing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.8 million veterans have a service-related disability, including nearly one-third who have a disability rating of 70 percent or higher.

Retired veterans who are eligible to receive disability have a choice between drawing from retirement pay or disability pay. The choice has significant tax implications. Some veterans prefer to replace retirement pay with disability benefits because, unlike retirement, the disability payments are not taxable.

Effectively Co-Parenting After A Divorce Is Tough: Do It For Your Kids

A divorce has a traumatic effect on any family. However, it is possible to get through the experience with less stress, which is better for everyone involved. Anxiety about dealing with your ex is a normal feeling for all parents when the marriage or relationship ends. But, for the sake of the children, it is critical to attempt to find a way to interact with your ex that does not cause your children, or yourself, undue anguish.

Ending A Bitter Divorce Just Got Easier in Pennsylvania

A seismic shift occurred for Divorce in Pennsylvania. On October 5, 2016 Governor Wolfe signed House Bill 380 into law which shortens the period a person must wait for a divorce when the other spouse does not agree. Before today, Pennsylvania's Domestic Relations law[1]required a two-year waiting period before one party could seek a divorce decree from the court without the other's consent. This change in the law brings Pennsylvania closer to the national trend of shortening the period the law forces upon divorcing couples. Many of my clients are thrilled with this change, as it opens up the possibility of completing their divorce faster and allowing for the next period in their lives to start an entire year earlier than they originally expected.

One reason the bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Tara Toohil of Luzerne County, pushed for a change, was to protect children from lengthy custody battles. When one spouse disagrees with getting a divorce, too often children are placed in the position of seeing their parents fight, or worse, being used as pawns in the divorce. By reducing the waiting period by one year, it is the hope of lawmakers to shield children from the damaging effects of a prolonged divorce. When asked for a comment, Rep Toohil responded, "Divorcing couples . . . find themselves in lengthy court battles" and that "Children end up being pawns in a divorce game and people end up going broke due to legal fees and a failure to manage mortgages and bills in a timely fashion."[2]

VA secretary claims Disney doesn't measure wait times so the VA shouldn't either

Setting aside the politics surrounding this story, any veteran attempting to obtain their rightfully earned benefits knows firsthand the challenges and obstacles in the Veterans Administration's claims process.


The Law Office of Jason R Carpenter
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Harrisburg, PA 17109

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