Pennsylvania residents might be surprised to learn that only about 40 percent of American adults have a will or other estate planning documents in place. The percentage is even lower for people who have dependent children, according to an online survey.
Going through a divorce in Pennsylvania is usually more complicated for parents of young children than it is for couples with no children. Though arguing over child support and custody agreements can be difficult, the laws concerning these issues are generally understood. When a divorcing couple has embryos that were created for in-vitro fertilization, the laws concerning these potentially unborn children are much more ambiguous.
On Jan. 19, Barack Obama signed a regulation that would allow incarcerated parents in all states to request a modification in child support based on a change in circumstances. Pennsylvania already allowed this. However, in several other states, this was not permitted because incarceration was considered voluntary unemployment.
Pennsylvania parents might want to gift part of their estate to their children while they are still alive. However, there are some pitfalls they should be aware of. For example, cash or stock that is only minimally appreciated is a better gift than an asset that is highly appreciated because of future capital gains tax. Highly appreciated assets are best passed on after an individual's death.
Divorcing parents in Pennsylvania and around the country have become embroiled in fewer bitter child custody disputes in recent years due to the growing popularity of co-parenting solutions and the large body of scientific research attesting to the benefits of these arrangements. However, the wealthy and famous often find it difficult to take a pragmatic approach in these situations, and contentious court battles over property division or child custody occur often enough to give gossip columnists and celebrity news websites plenty to write about.