Berman & Asbel, LLP

November 2012 Archives

Halle Berry denied move to France in child custody case

When parents end their relationship, a number of issues surrounding their shared child or children can arise. Many family law practitioners will attest that child custody cases can become the most heavily litigated and highly contentious cases that go before a court. Many in Pennsylvania may be following the recent child custody battles between actress Halle Berry and her former boyfriend. The two only recently ended a child custody proceeding, but were back in court again to argue over where the child will reside.

Pennsylvania sees increase in estate planning due to gas and oil

After discoveries of "wet gas," a more valuable substance than "dry" gas, as it is a combination of methane and other components, in the Utica Shale regions of Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, estate planners have seen an increase in landowners with gas and oil interests. Taking on oil and gas interests can be a sound investment, if handled property. Additionally, handing over such interests must be taken care of with great care due to the amount of financial interest there can be in these assets.

Don't let property division distract from insurance issues

Pennsylvania couples who are going through a divorce have a wide range of issues to work out. The process of splitting one household into two involves negotiations on topics major and minor, and many couples struggle to know which items to prioritize. Matters of child custody and support usually top the list for couples with children. Those without kids often focus on handling property division.

Philanthropic estate planning becoming popular

Financial planners are noting that there has been a recent rise in "spiritual" estate planning among baby boomers, who are seeking to ensure that their personal convictions are reflected in their wills and trusts. In the last year, according to nonprofit Charity Navigator, charities have seen a 19 percent rise in bequests.

Child custody issues complicated by dual citizenship

Pennsylvania parents who are in the process of divorce from a partner with dual citizenship have a unique set of legal challenges to confront. Issues of divorce and child custody become far more complex when one or both parties hold citizenship in a country other than the United States. In these situations, an aggressive and timely legal approach may be imperative for a successful outcome.

Older adults have different property division issues in divorce

Pennsylvania residents are aware that divorce rates are high for American couples. However, many assume that divorce is not common among older people, and that once a marriage has tested the limits of 10 or more years, that it is more likely to go the distance. Recent research contradicts those assumptions, and states that one in four people who obtain a divorce are 50 years of age or older. As this trend is expected to continue to rise, it is important to discuss the different issues related to property division that older spouses may face.

Estate planning lessons from Lucas-Disney deal

In a recent business move that shook the galaxy, Star Wars creator George Lucas sold his company, LucasFilm, to Disney for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. Experts say that by making this move now, Lucas, aged 68, has saved his family the difficulty of dealing with his empire after his death. Lucas' interest in philanthropy may also have played into the deal, as having the company off his plate may enable him to focus more on this aspect of his life and wealth. This foresight in estate planning is a great example of how to manage an estate sooner rather than later and getting the most out of it for everyone involved.

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