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Scranton Divorce Law Blog

Taking the necessary measures in the aftermath of a collision

Countless circumstances exist under which a car accident might occur. Common causes can range from distracted or reckless driving to impairment or intoxication. Regardless of the reasons, the result is often the same, with many collisions ending in disaster.

Suffering serious injuries in a car accident can hinder your ability to carry out daily tasks such as work, which can lead to a wide variety of hardships. Perhaps the other driver was at fault in your collision. You might wish to pursue compensation for your losses, and taking certain measures following the incident could be crucial to the process.

Planning a wedding? Do not forget to plan for future protection.

Are you engaged and planning to marry soon? Like other Pennsylvania couples, you are likely overwhelmed by all of the details that come with planning a wedding, but there may be more to think about. It is easy to be focused on the day of the wedding itself, but planning for your future is also important.

Planning to protect your future is as simple as working with a lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement. This may not seem like a romantic thought as you approach your wedding, but it is a smart, practical step for couples of all income levels. This step can provide you with peace to mind as you approach your future together.

Arrested for DUI? Did you supposedly fail a field sobriety test?

Most people joke about not being able to walk a straight line when they are sober, let alone after drinking. Even though you might even say this in jest, the sentiment makes a valid point. Not everyone can walk a straight line, and that fact could result in an arrest on suspicion of DUI.

To plea or not to plea, that is the question

The courtroom drama is a staple of television and movies. As a result, many people facing criminal charges are under the impression that their case will be resolved through a trial. The fact is that the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved through a plea bargain. In a plea bargain, the prosecution makes some sort of offer to the defendant, such as a dismissal of some charges or a reduction in penalties, in exchange for a guilty plea. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 90 and 95 of cases in federal and state courts are resolved through a plea bargain.

Prosecutors offer plea bargains for many reasons. One reason is that it would simply be too time-consuming to take every case to trial. Another reason is that in some cases, the prosecutor knows that he or she may have difficulties proving each part of a case beyond a reasonable doubt in trial.

DUI checkpoints increase over the summer

If you thought you noticed an increase in DUI checkpoints and patrols as the temperatures warmed up, you were right. More people go out during the warm summer nights, and police departments respond by cracking down on those who drive while under the influence. Given the increase in DUI arrests during the summer, you need to know your rights should you find yourself stopped at a checkpoint.

What is a DUI checkpoint?

A DUI checkpoint is a roadblock officers set up where they can randomly stop cars and make spot checks to see if drivers are intoxicated. Checkpoints are especially common in the late-night hours of the summer months when people may be coming home from parties and barbecues.

Proposed law would shorten waiting period for no-fault divorce

Pennsylvania is one of the few states that still categorizes divorces as either fault or no fault. An at fault divorce places blame squarely on one of the parties, while a no fault divorce places no legal blame on either party. In a no fault divorce, if both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, a divorce complaint can be filed and after 90 days the divorce can proceed and become finalized. If one of the parties does not consent, however, the parties must be separated for a period of two years before the divorce can go through.

This waiting period can wreak emotional havoc on families. Divorce is already a painful and stressful process, but prolonging it for such a long period of time can negatively affect people's well-being, particularly if children are involved. In fact, Penn Live reports that family therapists who testified before the House Judiciary Committee indicated that delaying divorce can result in harm to a child's developmental growth.

When small business owners divorce

Dividing a couple's assets during a divorce can often be contentious, but additional complications exist if the parties are one of the over 999,000 small business owners in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center, 99.91 percent of businesses in Lackawanna County were small businesses in 2013. Therefore, it is inevitable that divorce will affect some of these people during the course of their business ownership.

If both spouses own the business, deciding what to do with the business after they divorce may be a difficult decision. The role of each spouse in the business will have to be taken into consideration, and the couple must evaluate if the business can go on without one of them. More often than not, the exes continuing to work together is simply not a viable option.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

Put simply, a postnuptial agreement is a contract between you and your legal spouse. Most Pennsylvanians are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreement, which is executed before the wedding ceremony. Prenuptial agreements set forth terms on any matters that concern you and your spouse but often have to do with finances. A postnuptial agreement may be useful for you if something about your situation changes after you are married or difficulties arise that need to be clarified on paper.

As with a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can be used to agree on financial issues such as division of assets and the payment of support in the event of a divorce. While money is often the subject of postnuptial agreements, they can also be utilized to help you deal with issues concerning family-owned businesses, raising children, division of household labor or when the family will take vacations. They may also set forth consequences for specific behaviors, such as if you or your spouse is unfaithful, gambles excessively or abuses drugs.

The role of religion in divorce and child custody matters

Interfaith marriages are becoming increasingly common in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, 39 percent of Americans who have gotten married since 2010 have a spouse in a different religious group. Therefore, spouses of different religions who are undergoing divorce in Pennsylvania may have differing views when it comes to which religion their children will practice.

In Pennslyvania, a child's religion is generally not decided by the court. The state code cites that religion is considered a legal custody issue, which means that as long as both parents share legal custody, they can each raise the child in their particular faith. Sometimes, however, problems arise during or post-divorce when one parent wants to change an existing agreement or one of the parents converts to a new religion.

How joint custody impacts where a child attends school

If two Pennsylvania parents have joint physical custody and live in separate residences, they may have questions as to where their child will attend school. If a parenting plan was agreed on and put into place at the time of the divorce, issues regarding the child's education likely were decided at that time and the parenting plan will govern any schooling decisions. If there is no parenting plan in place, the parents cannot agree on a school or one parent is seeking a change to what was agreed upon, the issue can become more complicated.

Under Pennsylvania law, a child may attend school in a district where he or she resides. This means that a parent must maintain a residence in that district. However, it does not necessarily need to be the child's primary residence. Take, for instance, parents that share physical custody but live in different school districts. The mother has custody 60 percent of the time and the father has custody 40 percent of the time. Regardless of the custody agreement, the child could still attend school in the district where the father resides. As long as the child spends several nights a week at the residence in the school district, they are eligible to attend school in that district.

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108 North Washington Ave, Suite 604
Scranton, PA 18503

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