Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law Super Lawyers

June 2013 Archives

Divorce - Who Can Claim the Child / Children on Their Taxes?

As divorce and custody litigation progresses, the parties inevitably reach tax season and must determine which parent gets to claim the child/children on their taxes if they are separated, divorced, or were never married. I frequently have clients asking which parent should be entitled to claim the child/children on their taxes. Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer as it should be determined on a case by case basis. Because of this, it is important to have your attorney investigate all of the issues in your case and advise you accordingly.

Voluntary Reduction in Income

Once a support order is entered by a Pennsylvania Court, the order is always modifiable. The Court recognizes that people change jobs, get raises, are laid off and experience fluctuation in income throughout their lives. Therefore, if you are paying child or spousal support and you begin making more money, the recipient can file a Petition to Modify Support and can have your obligation increased. Conversely, if you experience a reduction in income as a payor, you can file the same paperwork and have your obligation decreased.

DUI and Commercial Driver's License

I have previously written about the consequences associated with being charged with or convicted of a DUI. While those consequences are obviously less than ideal, the ramifications of being convicted of a DUI if you have a Commercial Driver's License ("CDL") are much more severe, especially if you use that CDL to make a living. In Pennsylvania, a CDL is required for a driver to operate any commercial vehicle. Such vehicles include semi-trailers, buses, and HAZMAT vehicles. Depending on the type of vehicle the driver wants to operate, there are a number of different classifications of CDL.

Our Family Wizard ... An Online Communication Tool for Divorced Parents

It's no surprise that parents going through a divorce are often not very good at communicating with one another. While there is no requirement that ex's like one another or even be civil to one another, the ability to work together is important when children are involved. It is obviously ideal if two divorced or separated parents are able to work together regarding their children. However, this is not always the case. Some parents are just too hurt or angry to be able to co-parent and any interaction between the two leads to stress and conflict.

Potpourri. Some things I think...

Agreements are good - Whether we are talking about pre nuptial agreements, general partnership agreements or settlement agreements. Anything in writing, agreed to by the parties, detailing their relationship or the end of their relationship, is better than no agreement at all. Well written agreements are even better. Yes any written agreement is good, but agreements written by competent lawyers are even better. Of course, attorneys that are well versed in specific agreements generally do a better job than those who are doing it for the first time. Parents involved in a divorce, that get along, have a better chance of having well adjusted children. Many times in a divorce the children are more mature than the parents. Divorcing parents that are looking for revenge will undoubtedly produce children with future psychological issues. Settlements may sometimes feel like a loss, but the alternative may well have been worse. Any one who represents himself / herself to save money almost never succeeds. Judges would rather you settle the case. Agreements are almost always less costly than litigation. Details always matter. A zealous attorney is one that cares. More preparation is better than less.

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If you need to speak with an attorney about an important legal matter, contact my law office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To schedule a free consultation, call 412-455-5388, or contact me by e-mail.

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Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C.

1290 Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

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