Deborah Zitomer Esquire, LLC
Advocating for Families In Norristown and Montgomery County Since 1990

Norristown Family Law Blog

Are you unable to afford your child support payments?

As hard as you try to make your child support payments in full and on time, there could come a point when you realize that this is no longer possible.

If you are unable to afford your child support payments, perhaps due to a change in circumstances, it's imperative that you know which steps to take.

Laying Low On Social Media During A Divorce Can Be Beneficial To Your Case

The technological age has given us the ability to keep up with friends, family, and other acquaintances from the palm of our hand. Simply pushing a button on your electronic device can share your location, what you are doing there, and in some cases who you are doing it with. When you are going through a divorce, especially when children are involved, the types of posts that you share with the world could pose a threat to your case.

It is hard to resist the temptation to post anything and everything because it has come to be acceptable among society. Most marriages do not end on the happiest of terms, and items that you post could be brought up in court to bring your character into question. There are so many emotions that are at a high level during your divorce proceedings that anything is possible from the other party to gain an advantage. Remaining low key and checking your posts thoroughly are essential to making sure that no one gets offended during these volatile times.

Helpful Information About A Grandparent's Rights In Pennsylvania

Becoming a grandparent can completely change a person's outlook on life. These little bundles of joy can make even the roughest and toughest personality soft and loving. Grandparents often go out of their way, bending over backward, to spoil their grandchildren rotten, and along the way, they create a strong and lasting bond. Unfortunately, there are circumstances that may cause these relationships to become fractured.

An unexpected death in the family, or a divorce, are two of the top reasons responsible for straining these relationships. Often, the children of these families have to relocate with the parent that was granted custody, and eventually, the visitations may only start to take place during holidays. They may even stop altogether in an attempt to hurt the other parent. If you are a grandparent experiencing these types of problems, our firm is prepared to listen, guide, and set up a plan that serves the best interests of your grandchild.

Are my alimony payments tax deductable?

Most Pennsylvania spouses who are paying alimony are not entirely excited by the idea. Even if you can understand the logic behind the court's decisions -- or if you can see why the law requires it -- alimony payments can feel like a significant financial burden.

When it comes to taxes, spouses who are paying alimony get a small break. They can deduct the money they pay in alimony from their annual taxable income.

How are child support payments treated on my income taxes?

Let's say you recently got divorced from your spouse of 15 years with whom you have three children, ages five, seven and nine. Since your spouse received full custody and you are considered the noncustodial parent, a Pennsylvania family law court ordered you to pay $1,000 each month in child support. This is a significant financial burden, and you're probably wondering if you can receive any kind of tax benefit for making these payments.

The short answer to this question is, no, child support payments are not tax deductible.

Common Misconceptions Related To Child Custody In Pennsylvania

The best interests of your child should always be your top priority when it comes to child custody. It should not be about the mother or father, but rather about what is best for your child. There are a variety of sayings, myths, and wives tales about child custody that are not true. However, they remain in circulation and continue to contribute to the confusion.

Do Not Believe Everything That You Hear

You Can Be In Love And Still Get A Prenuptial Agreement

There is a belief that a prenuptial or premarital agreement is in some sense asking a marriage to fail, or else it shows that the two people marrying are sure it won't last. After all, why else would you sign a contract before marrying that will only take effect if you get divorced? If everything goes well and the married couple sticks together, there's no need for a prenuptial.

But this question can be answered with another question: why bother buying home insurance, or auto insurance? If everything goes well, you're just wasting your money. Why buy health insurance when you can just stay healthy? And why save up for your retirement when you can just keep working until you die?

Why Prove Fault During A Pennsylvanian Divorce?

As of 2005, Pennsylvania law allows married couples to file a no-fault divorce with mutual consent, which means the marriage ends for no other reason than the fact that both people involved want it to end. There are other ways to end a divorce with no fault involved, such as being legally separated for two years or more, but then there's the old fashioned way: finding fault on the part of one or both sides and filing divorce on those grounds.

Pennsylvania law only accepts certain specific reasons for filing a fault-based divorce:

All Parties Are Protected When Paternity Is Established

Unwed couples that embark on the journey of parenthood should always make every attempt to establish paternity. There are certain rights that a mother, father, child, and in some cases grandparents, have that can only be established through properly filed paternity claims. In Pennsylvania, paternity can be established either voluntarily or involuntarily until the child reaches 18 years of age.

Voluntarily Established Paternity

What Does Alimony Mean In Pennsylvania?

Alimony is very possibly the most disliked aspect of a divorce, and that's saying something. Alimony is a payment made by one spouse to support the other for a set amount of time. This payment can be monthly, annual, or a single lump sum. It's less common these days since more married couples are dual-income than not, but it still matters during plenty of divorces.

Alimony exists because most families were (until recently) single-income households, and so the spouse without a job or income would depend on the one who made money while they lived together. Alimony payments allow the spouse without an income to live on his or her own until he or she can get a job, find another partner or otherwise live independently of the former spouse. After all, a fear of homelessness should not force anyone to live with someone he or she hates.


Deborah Zitomer Esquire, LLC
11 E. Airy Street
Norristown, PA 19401

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