Berman & Asbel, LLP

December 2016 Archives

President Obama addresses prisoner child support rules

Pennsylvania is one of 36 states that allow child support orders to be modified or suspended if the custodial parent is incarcerated. However, imprisonment is viewed as voluntary unemployment in many parts of the country. Therefore, released prisoners may face crippling debts when their child support obligations have been mounting for months or even years. This has been linked to a variety of social ills including increased crime and higher recidivism rates.

January is a busy month for divorce lawyers

Many Pennsylvania residents resolve to change their lives as they raise a glass on New Year's Eve, and most of the time these resolutions involve pledges to eat more healthily, take more exercise or pay closer attention to loved ones. However, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the first Monday of January is also one of the busiest days of the year for family law attorneys.

Getting divorced after a long marriage

As divorcing after decades of being married is becoming more socially acceptable, some older Pennsylvania couples may find themselves questioning whether doing so is right for them. However, there are some significant challenges that each person will face if they do decide that ending the marriage is a step that needs to be taken.

Creating an estate plan for a blended family

Estate planning may be important for all adults in Pennsylvania; however, it can be even more vital for people in blended families. Such estate holders may want to protect both children from a previous marriage, a current spouse and any children from a new relationship. Beneficiary designations may be out of date and list a former spouse or only include children from the previous relationship. If instructions in a will conflict with beneficiary designations, the beneficiary designation is generally considered to override the will.

Bequeathing real property could cause disputes

Pennsylvania residents who own a large piece of land like a farm or a ranch may want to think carefully about how to transfer the land in their estate plan. If they have several children and grandchildren, they may be tempted to draft a simple will that leaves the property to all of those heirs. However, simply leaving land to several people at once can cause complicated disputes in the future.

Child visitation when parents in Pennsylvania live far apart

Many parents who divorce start off with the idea that they'll both stay in the same area, but things may change so that one parent moves away. Along with meeting someone new, one parent may move for a new job or be forced to relocate by their current work. This can create a number of problems for both parents.

Understanding how a trust ends

The owner of an estate can place assets into a trust and assign a trustee to manage it for a beneficiary. The guidelines for how the assets are to be managed and taken care of will be detailed a written document referred to as the trust document. It is a convenient legal mechanism for an individual to use if he or she will not be able to manage the property in the future. However, Pennsylvania residents who are considering using a trust as part of their estate planning should be aware that a trust will eventually end.

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