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Cranberry Township Family Law Blog

Mayor accused of domestic abuse, wife seeks protection

Families in the spotlight, like celebrities, business owners or political families can reap the benefits, or the downsides, of the fame they have attained. A Pennsylvania mayor in nearby Williamsport has received mostly positive press, however, when his wife filed for divorce his name was dragged through the headlines. What was so disheartening about the headline? In it, the wife accused the mayor (and estranged husband) of spousal abuse.

Beyond her claims made in the filing and in PA divorce court, the mayor's wife did not cite the vague 'irreconcilable differences' as her reason for filing for divorce. Instead, the mayor's estranged wife claimed that her husband has engaged in unspecified acts with other women. Essentially, she has accused her estranged husband of cheating with multiple women. In addition, she claimed that she feared for her safety and the safety of her children as she has been the victim of domestic abuse and more specifically "cruel and barbarous treatment."

Basics of property division

The division of assets is an important part of divorce in Pennsylvania with long-lasting financial consequences. Planning should govern how these assets may be divided amicably or in a court proceeding.

Under Pennsylvania law, all property that either spouses obtain during the marriage is marital property that may be divided regardless of the name of the spouse assigned to the property. There are exceptions for gifts and inheritances. Any increase in premarital property, inheritances or gifts during marriage also becomes marital property.

Shared custody can be healthy custody arrangement for your child

Checking in on the health and well-being of your child is a daily, if not an hourly, activity of a good parent. So when parents decide it's time for their marriage to end and for parents to lead separate lives while still parenting their child, what is the best option? That question isn't easily answered as it varies from family to family. However, a shared custody arrangement can be a great option for families who are looking to equally (or fairly equally) care for their child from separate households.

Custody arrangements are tailored to the Cranberry Township family that is affects. That is why it is important to consider the important points that affect you and your family when determining what custody arrangement is going to be right for your family. The best interests of the child is the factor considered above all when a family law court makes it's decision about a child custody situation. Shared custody can consist of shared legal custody, physical custody or both.

Protection after threats of violence

Marriages have their fair share of challenges, as well as happy, positive moments. However, sometimes a deteriorating marriage can take a frightening turn when a spouse threatens violence or is otherwise aggressive toward their spouse or children. Since the divorce process can take weeks or even months, sometimes a divorce is not enough to protect oneself from threats of violence from an estranged spouse. This is why protective orders exist to help to those who are victims of domestic abuse.

Since family law is governed by Pennsylvania state law, one must look to the state statutes to determine a potential course of action to protect oneself against threats of violence. According to Pennsylvania's Protection From Abuse Act, a protective order may be issued by the court for a variety of offenses including physical violence, sexual violence and threats to harm. Also false imprisonment, in which a person is held against their will. Even sexual abuse of children is reason to seek a Protection from Abuse order or PFA.

What are the disadvantages of representing myself?

You may think that it is better for you to represent yourself when you are facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. However, doing so could leave you at a significant disadvantage. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony, the consequences of your charges can have a long-lasting impact on your life. By representing yourself in court, you are gambling with your freedom, relationships, future and financial security. 

Take some time to learn about the disadvantages of self-representation before you decide to waive your right to legal counsel. 

PA doctor ends life due to spousal support, says daughter

Divorce can be the beginning of positive change for many couples. Especially when a marriage is no longer functioning, the change in lifestyle can be a welcomed option.

However, one Pennsylvania man who is recently divorced from his ex-wife did not have such a positive response. According to reports, the man decided to end his life. His daughter said it was due to his responsibility to pay spousal support. The doctor's daughter claimed that freedom and independence were hugely important to her father.

Collaborative law can be a less stressful form of divorce

If you and your spouse have come to the difficult decision to get a divorce, you both would likely prefer to do it in the least painful manner possible. Since it is already a big change for everyone involved, most people are looking to have it go as smoothly as possible. If parties are willing to communicate, there is one type of divorce that can be favorable for the parties involved. This type of divorce is often referred to as collaborative divorce.

The collaborative divorce process is different from traditional divorce in a few ways. First of all, rather than a he-versus-she situation, it is meant to be a situation in which parties communicate. Instead of drawing lines in the sand, people are encouraged to communicate with the use of a lawyer who is trained in the collaborate law process. Professionals specializing in child care, finances and divorce coaches can add a valuable perspective for both parties involved.

What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

It can be hard for divorcing parents, or separated parents, to think about losing any time with their child. Sometimes, going through the child custody process can feel that way as it is a division of time that a child spends with one parent. However, it is usually in a child's best interest to spend time with both parents. Therefore, separated parents often must co-parent from separate households.

There are two different types of custody that may be discussed during the child custody process -- physical custody and legal custody. It is possible for parents to be assigned one, both or neither versions of custody depending on the family's situation. Legal custody differs from physical custody in that parents granted legal custody are given legal authority to make decisions about the child's education, health and upbringing.

If charged with DUI, you could enter the ARD Program

You may only have had a couple of glasses of wine, but just that much alcohol affected your judgement. You went right through a stop sign, the police picked you up and charged you with DUI. It was a scary experience, the first time this sort of thing had ever happened to you, and you are worried about the consequences.

In the state of Pennsylvania, first offenders have the opportunity of entering the ARD pre-trial and pre-conviction program. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain the program in detail.

Computer forensics uncover aspects affecting equitable division

Many Cranberry Township residents have woken up one day and realized that a relationship is over. For married couples, divorce may be the only legitimate option at this point. An equitable division of assets can be achieved for both parties involved in the property division process.

An equitable division does not necessarily mean a 50-50 division of assets. It means a property division solution that is fair and reasonable for both parties, depending on the circumstances. Computer forensics can help to dig into people's finances and personal lives to help determine just what equitable may mean. Computer forensic investigators are professionals at examining computer histories and digital records to acquire evidence in search of equitable division of assets.

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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.
20120 Route 19, Suite 208
Gigliotti Plaza
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

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