Divorce is a confusing process, but with a little help it doesn't have to be. What does it take to get divorces in Pennsylvania? The five parts of divorce are (1) Divorce, (2) Support and Alimony Pendente Lite, (3) Equitable Distribution, (4) Alimony, and (5) Custody.
The standard rule in Pennsylvania regarding the tax treatment of alimony payments in a divorce is that payments made by the payor are tax deductible and that payments received by the payee constitute taxable income. However, there is an important caveat to this rule. The U.S. Tax Code only permits alimony to be deductible if it is specified in a written order or property settlement agreement.
One of the biggest sticking points I run into as a Pittsburgh family law attorney is alimony in divorce cases. Prospective obligors typically recoil at the thought of providing for their soon to be ex-spouse for the foreseeable future while prospective recipients are often looking to guarantee themselves a certain standard of living going forward. It is this issue that often leads to a break down in settlement negotiations and the parties subsequently heading to trial.
One of the most prevalent questions I am asked when couples are alimony is whether or not alimony is granted in Pennsylvania. Inevitably, the client says, "my friend told me that there is no alimony in Pennsylvania". Well, the friend is wrong. In fact, in Pennsylvania there are two types of alimony - Alimony Pendente Lite and post Divorce Alimony.
The hardest question for a Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer is determining whether or not a divorce case should be settled or go to trial. In a recent article in the Huffington Post.com, entitled," WHAT DO DIVORCE LAWYERS DO IN THEIR OWN DIVORCES", J Richard Kulerski and Kari Cornelison state that the vast majority of lawyers would "try to stay out of (Divorce) court". They state that "despite any perceived advantage they are believed to have, they do everything they can to settle their case before they reach the court system" because they think going to court is a losing proposition. Their reasoning is that taking the case to court is a counter-productive force that destroys their chance of achieving a healthy negotiating climate. Although I agree that settlement is generally better than fighting it out in Court, sometimes it's just the correct approach and sometimes you do not have an alternative.
Celebrity divorce settlements are absorbing for many reasons. Beyond the gossip, it can be intriguing to consider, from a legal point of view, what issues may arise during the divorce when substantial income and assets are involved. Even though the divorcing couple may be quite wealthy, however, the division of assets for higher net-worth individuals and couples during divorce follows a similar process to that which anyone seeking a divorce would find. There are some additional issues, of course, such as the valuation of the assets and the determination of what earnings should be shared in the long term. Those extra steps can also add to the cost of the divorce itself.
When divorce terms are finalized, all the financial details for each side are clearly defined and agreed upon with the understanding that all sides will adhere to the agreement. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; many divorcing spouses owing child support and/or alimony fail to fully pay their debts to their ex-spouse. Although this violates the terms of the divorce, it's something many former spouses ultimately get away with. Pittsburgh child support lawyers note that forcing a former spouse to continue paying child and spousal support can be difficult, and getting them to catch up on late payments can be even tougher. The costs involved with putting pressure on a spouse can also be a challenge to an ex-spouse living off a fixed income and without the income they are owed.
Most divorces have negative consequences, emotionally and financially. For the majority of people contemplating divorce, these costs are to be expected. What makes divorce even worse for many people is that the courts do not look at the facts of the marriage and the divorce in the same way that the divorcing spouses do. In other words, the reality of the situation does not match what the court seems to see and what the court decides to do.
When state governments begin to make big changes to their laws regarding alimony, it gets noticed in other states. Whether in Pennsylvania or other parts of the country, very few people are entirely satisfied with the way the spousal support system works. That is why reforms like those that recently passed in Massachusetts get so much attention. The new laws were signed by the governor earlier this week.
Pro football players for the NFL are already locked out of their workplace, and basketball players for the NBA could find themselves in a similar situation within months. If the standoffs with owners continue into the football and basketball seasons, many professional athletes could find themselves without paychecks.