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Marital property could play critical role in new economy

Single parents who have gone through a divorce in Pennsylvania may have a difficult time getting back on their feet after their breakup. In some cases, victims suffer from unscrupulous or unfair property division, which leaves them with financial troubles years after their divorce. In the wake of the 2008 Great Recession, many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, especially with benefits for long-term unemployed workers rapidly dwindling.

One Pittsburgh woman who has raised her son on her own since her divorce now finds herself struggling to pay her phone and utility bills because of decreased unemployment benefits. Her son is now attending college, but he is accumulating a debt through student loans. The 50-year-old woman said that she is among the more than a million long-term unemployed Americans who lost their extended benefits because of a December decision in Congress. She worries that she might soon have to leave her home, and she does not have another place to sleep.

The lack of long-term unemployment benefits could affect scores of recent divorcees, many of whom may not have received a fair shake during their property division process. In some case, marital property and assets simply are not enough to support those who have been out of work for months at a time. Shockingly, in Pennsylvania, about 40 percent of those without a job have been out of work for six months or more.

Although the weekly unemployment benefits may not have provided an extravagant wage, the money helped pay rent and other necessities for those who have been out of work for months. Even though the economy is supposedly recovering, many Pennsylvania divorcees are still suffering financial hardship. Pennsylvania residents who have been out of work for a long period of time and are currently going through a divorce may benefit from consulting a family attorney. These professionals may be able to help with the property division aspect of divorce, possibly assisting those with special employment needs.

Source: The Republic, "For long-term jobless, cutoff of extended benefits makes daily life more of a struggle" John D. Oravecz, Feb. 16, 2014

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