Getting divorced doesn't necessarily mean Pennsylvania residents lose the advantages they'd have enjoyed if they stayed together. In some cases, they might still be permitted to claim Social Security benefits from their former spouses. The validity of such claims is determined by a complex set of rules. One important determining factor is whether the ex-spouse in question was actually eligible for Social Security.
Pennsylvania couples who are getting married should consider how they will handle their finances. In many marriages, one person tends to be savvier about finances and handle the bills and budgeting. However, if both take responsibility for financial matters, it is better for the marriage and also leaves both spouses in a stronger position in case of divorce.
Many Pennsylvania couples may be interested to learn that the divorce rates in the United States are on the rise, especially among older couples. In many cases, people who have been together longer have more assets that will need to be taken care of. If the case goes public, such as Johnny Depp's divorce, the toll on the couple's privacy can be heavy.
Pennsylvania couples who are planning to divorce may have questions about an inheritance that was received by either spouse. While the general rule for property division is that an inheritance is the separate property of the person who receives it, the result may be different in certain situations.
Pennsylvania residents who are not married but are involved in civil unions or domestic partnerships do not have the option of filing jointly on their federal income tax returns. However, married individuals, including those in same-sex marriages, must select either joint or married filing separately as their status. In many cases, separate filings can result in the loss of certain tax benefits, but in other cases, separate filing is the better choice.
Individuals in Pennsylvania may not know that they need to complete certain paperwork in order to distribute retirement accounts as part of a divorce settlement. For an individual retirement account fund, a transfer incident is necessary. For an employer-sponsored plan or a 401(k), a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is necessary.
Hiring a forensic accountant can be very important for a spouse who is going through a high asset divorce in Pennsylvania. When there are substantial assets involved, a forensic accountant can make sure that they are all accounted for and properly valuated. A forensic accountant may also be useful when a person's ex-spouse is attempting to hide certain assets and misrepresent their income or net worth during property division.
Newly married couples should consider all of the benefits and drawbacks of joint bank accounts before deciding how they will handle their money. Joint accounts encourage the couple to communicate about all expenses, but this can lead to fights if one party is a saver and the other a spender. Keeping all of the couple's money in a single account also makes it easier for them to keep track of their budget.
A Pennsylvania resident who receives alimony or child support because of a court order may depend on those funds to make ends meet. However, the death or disability of the paying party could undermine one's budget quickly. Fortunately, insurance products are available to guard against these possibilities, and in many cases, judges will require some such precautions as part of a divorce order. Life insurance is much more commonly ordered, but an awareness of disability options could head off later financial problems for both parties to a settlement.
Many Pennsylvania residents who have gone through a divorce may be interested to learn that they may be able to claim Social Security retirement benefits based on their ex-spouse's earnings, if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. When a person is still working but over the age of 62, they can either elect to receive benefits based on their ex-spouse or strategically wait to claim then at age 66.