Louis Wm. Martini, Jr., P.C.
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Media Family Law Blog

Men can also be on the receiving end of domestic violence

When the topic of spousal abuse comes up, women are usually the first type of victim to come to mind. It is true that women are abused by their male partners more than vice versa. However, it is also possible for men in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to be the victims of domestic abuse.

Domestic violence in men may be more prevalent than people would think. According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, about one in 10 men in the United States are victims of physical violence, sexual abuse or stalking by a romantic partner each year. About 4 percent of all men have been injured by a partner at some point in their lives. Psychological abuse is even more common in men, with almost half of U.S. men having been emotionally or verbally abused by their partners. Some authorities believe that the numbers of men who suffer abuse by their partners are higher than those officially reported.

Tips to prevent international abduction

Pennsylvania parents who have different countries of origin sometimes find themselves afraid a spouse will choose to take the children and return home. Home may be just across the border in Canada, or it may be on the other side of the planet in Africa or Asia. What do intercultural couples need to know to prevent international abductions?

The U.S. Department of State offers tips for prevention, and awareness is a good first step. A spouse should pay attention to his or her partner's actions, noting any unusual activity that suggests a big move is coming. For example, quitting a job and putting a house on the market on a whim may point to an upcoming relocation. Noting these and other sudden changes can help suspecting spouses read situations more effectively.

Non-custodial parents can be a significant part of child’s life

It can be hard to raise your children if you have less parenting time than your ex has. As the non-custodial parent, you might feel as if your job is less important. At the law offices of Louis Wm. Martini, Jr., P.C., we understand that you want to enjoy every minute you spend with your children when you have a minimum of visiting time. We also know that you and other non-custodial parents in Pennsylvania are just as important to your children as the other parent.

You might have heard the phrase “Disneyland dad,” especially if you were accused of only having fun with your kids and not doing your share of the parenting work. This may not be true, but it can still sting, especially since nobody can say you cannot make memories with your children. However, states the National Center for Fathering, it is still important to have routines, rules and discipline, no matter how much or how little time you have with them.

3 people to talk to about getting a divorce

You know you are unhappy in your marriage, but does that mean you should get a divorce? Legally ending your marriage comes with numerous significant life changes, so it is not a decision to take lightly. Examine all your options first.

Start by talking to trusted professionals. Friends and family can be supportive and well-meaning, but they do not have the knowledge of how divorce will impact you and your family specifically. They may offer advice that is not relevant to your circumstances, no matter how helpful it was to them. Instead, talk to these three professionals about how divorce will affect you and if they recommend you go through with it.

How to limit the effects of divorce on your children

The prospect of divorce has you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, along with giving you a long list of things to do. It is most certainly an overwhelming, stressful time for you and your spouse. What about the children? How does it affect them?

No doubt you have worried how your divorce will impact them. Much of it depends on their ages and maturity, but regardless of the circumstances, you can take the following steps to counteract the negative effects of divorce.

What is the Address Confidentiality Program?

If you are a Pennsylvania resident who is a victim of domestic violence such as sexual assault, stalking or other domestic abuses, the state has many resources available to you in order to protect your future safety and that of your child(ren). Per the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one of the most effective and popular resources is the Address Confidentiality Program.

The ACP gives you the opportunity to obtain a substitute address to use when you move to a new home, get a new job or change your child(ren)’s school in an effort to assure that you and your child(ren) will be safe from your abuser. By using an ACP address, your abuser will not know the actual address of your home, your place of employment or your child(ren)’s school. Your confidential address is not a substitute for long-term safety planning, but it can be a valuable tool in implementing such safety plans.

Is Pennsylvania a community property state?

If you are a married Pennsylvania resident contemplating divorce, you probably are wondering how assets accumulated during a marriage are allocated during a divorce. FindLaw explains that while Pennsylvania is not a community property state, whatever property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage, including all money earned by each of you, is considered to be marital property. This property, however, is not necessarily owned jointly by you and your spouse, nor will it necessarily be divided equally between you and your spouse when you divorce.

Separate property

Will child support payments cover all my expenses?

Pennsylvania parents who get a divorce will also need to go through the process of figuring out child support payments. These payments are designed to alleviate some of the financial stress that result from a house's income suddenly being halved. But do child support payments make up for all of the missing costs?

The short answer: no. Child support payments are essentially an estimation of how much raising your child will cost, and as HuffPost states, there is no real way to determine how expensive it will be to raise your kid. Traditional child support payments relying on this system of estimation may not be enough to cover everything. Surprise costs can include things like car accidents or sudden illnesses or hospital visits.

When can grandparents get custody?

If you are a Pennsylvania grandparent who is concerned about the safety and/or welfare of your grandchild, you may be wondering if there is any way you can get custody of him or her. There is. Under Section 5324 of the Pennsylvania Code, you may file a petition seeking physical and/or legal custody of your grandchild if you are willing to assume responsibility for him or her and if your relationship with him or her is court-ordered or began with the consent of your grandchild’s parent(s). In addition, one of the following three conditions must be met:

  1. Your grandchild is substantially at risk living with his or her parent(s) because they abuse or neglect him or her and/or because they abuse alcohol or drugs.
  2. Your grandchild has lived with you for at least 12 months.
  3. Your grandchild has been declared a dependent child by a court.

Other grounds for seeking custody

Why litigation may not be your best option in a divorce case

Divorce is a conflictual event by definition because at its very heart it represents the break-up of a couple. Despite the origins of a decision to divorce, the entire process does not necessarily need to have conflict and stress at every turn.

When people think of divorce, many of them picture the typical courtroom battles between ex-spouses as portrayed by dramatic movies. The truth of the matter, however, is that a skilled attorney with experience in family law can help you assess your situation and options in order to find the most expedient solution while seeking to minimize the lengthy and costly burdens of a drawn-out court battle.

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