Alimony, Support and Division of Assets Explained in Pennsylvania

Spousal Support

Spousal Support is available to a married spouse, when the couple resides in separate homes and one spouse earns more than the other spouse. There are defenses against spousal support and it is important to have an attorney assist you in your claim for or against spousal support.

Alimony Pendente Lite

Alimony Pendente Lite is a type of support that is limited in nature and paid to the lesser income earning spouse by the higher income earning spouse in accordance to a statutory formula until the divorce is finalized. This support was enacted to equalize the parties incomes during the divorce proceedings and allow each spouse to afford the divorce process and expenses.

Alimony

In Pennsylvania, there is not a set formula to determine post-divorce alimony. Whether or not to award post-divorce alimony payments lies within the exclusive discretion of the court. The court relies on the following 17 factors to determine whether to award post-divorce alimony.

The 17 Factors of Alimony

  • The relative earnings of both spouses.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The ages and physical, mental and emotional states of the two spouses.
  • The sources of income of both spouses. This includes medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
  • The expected future earnings and inheritances of the two spouses.
  • The degree to which one spouse has contributed to the other spouse’s education, training or increased earning potential.
  • The degree to which a spouse will be financially affected by their position as the custodian of a minor child.
  • The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage.
  • The relative education of the parties. This also considers the amount of time it would take for the spouse seeking alimony to acquire the education or training necessary to find employment.
  • The relative assets and liabilities of the two spouses.
  • The property each spouse brought to the marriage.
  • The degree a spouse contributed as a homemaker.
  • The relative needs of the two spouses.
  • The marital misconduct of either of the spouses during the marriage.
  • The federal, state and local tax consequences of the alimony.
  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony lacks sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs.
  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony is incapable of supporting themselves through appropriate employment.

[1] Title 7, Pennsylvania Code, §6102.

Division of Assests

In Pennsylvania “marital property” means all property acquired by either party during the marriage and the increase in value of any non-marital property acquired. However, marital property does not include:

Veterans’ benefits exempt from attachment, levy or seizure pursuant to the act of September 2, 1958 (Public Law 85-857, 72 Stat. 1229), as amended, except for those benefits received by a veteran where the veteran has waived a portion of his military retirement pay in order to receive veterans’ compensation.

Property to the extent to which the property has been mortgaged or otherwise encumbered in good faith for value prior to the date of final separation.

Any payment received as a result of an award or settlement for any cause of action or claim which accrued prior to the marriage or after the date of final separation regardless of when the payment was received.

Property acquired prior to marriage or property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage.

Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties entered into before, during or after the marriage.
Property acquired by gift, except between spouses, bequest, devise or descent or property acquired in exchange for such property.

Property acquired after final separation until the date of divorce, except for property acquired in exchange for marital assets.

Property which a party has sold, granted, conveyed or otherwise disposed of in good faith and for value prior to the date of final separation.

Pennsylvania states that the increase in value of any non-marital property acquired pursuant to subsection shall be measured from the date of marriage or later acquisition date to either the date of final separation or the date as close to the hearing on equitable distribution as possible, whichever date results in a lesser increase.

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Chitosan Research

One of the many remarkable diet control supplements that can substantially contribute to weight loss is Chitosan. Chitosan is a naturally occurring substance that resembles cellulose in its structure and is derived from a polysaccharide called chitin. Chitin is primarily found in the exoskeletons of shellfish such as shrimps, crustaceans and crabs. Shells of these animals are crushed into a fine powder. This powder is passed through a process of deacetylation resulting in the formation of Chitosan.

The most remarkable property of Chitosan is that it is a special fiber that acts as an effective fat binder at the rate of six to ten times its weight. The soaked up fat molecules are then converted into a form that is not suitable for absorption. Being a non-digestible substance, consumption of Chitosan does not add any additional calories into the body. Recent research has found that Chitosan has the ability to interfere with fat digestion and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Apart from this, Chitosan also facilitates the excretion of dietary fat through feces. Research has shown that consumption of Chitosan in combination with ascorbic acid would reduce the fat levels significantly.

Along with controlling weight, Chitosan also has other health benefits. Chitosan has shown to effectively control the blood serum cholesterol levels. Research has shown that Chitosan could increase the level of HDL cholesterol in the body, while lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. Chitosan performs the function of a cholestryramine and is particularly beneficial to patients suffering with coronary heart diseases.

Make More Sales By Being Contrary

Here’s something I’ve been playing with, and my results have been pretty good, too.

A few months ago a friend was launching a big product with lots of cash prizes for the top affiliates. I knew there would be tons of affiliate competition, with every affiliate trying to out-do the others with bigger and better bonuses.

How to compete?

I decided not to.

Instead, I thought about what every affiliate’s bonus pages would look like: Highly polished, slick, professional, lots of graphics, videos, etc.

Odds are they would all start to look very much alike, right?

So I thought… what if I did something different?

What if my page looked like something you might get in the mail – black and white sales letter, using the Courier typewriter font, very old-school looking…

And what if, instead of a highly polished professional photo of myself, I used one where I just woke up? Or one where I just finished exercising, or just finished the yard work?

In other words, I looked like the guy next door and not some slick marketer.

Taking this thinking to the next level, I decided I didn’t want to spend time or money on creating a bonus. Everyone else was doing that, so why should I?

Instead, I would hold a live class. The homework would be to go over the program before class. Then in class we would implement, step-by-step, what was in the program. And I would record the whole thing, so people could just follow along.

In case you’re wondering – it worked beautifully. My sales were a very decent 5 figure number, and my commissions were half that plus bonuses.

And one more thing – I cheated, too. I had my virtual assistant run the class for me. She got to learn some great new skills, and I put less than 2 hours into the entire project.

The takeaway: When you have a lot of competition, it’s time to stop directly competing and find another way.

If they are using tons of graphics and slick videos, you go with a 1980’s black and white typewriter look.

If they are offering bonus packages filled with 5, 10 or 20 products, you offer no products (I offered hold-your-hand training, which in my opinion is worth far more anyway.)

You get the idea.

Do you know what would work even better than that?

MAILING the actual letter. Yup. Talk about old school. If you collect real addresses of your BUYERS, you might consider doing this on big ticket items.

I know marketers who do this. They are few and far between, and they are KILLING it. They only mail to buyers, which greatly improves their conversions. They use a service to send out the mailers for them. And they make more on one of these mailings than most successful marketers earn in 6 months.

Which brings me to my second idea… if you don’t already have the mailing addresses for your buyers, start collecting those now.

When you have a sizable portion of them (at least 200, preferably 500) approach a marketer with a product your list would love. Make sure there is plenty of profit in that product. Take the sales letter, adapt it to a black and white mailer (cheap to produce) and send it to your buyers.

See what happens. Tweak, rinse and repeat.

You can easily DOUBLE your income using this method.

Know why? Again, because it’s contrary. It’s different. Almost no one is doing it.

Your customer gets maybe a half dozen pieces of mail in a day. Two are bills. Two are sales flyers from local businesses. One is a catalog.

And then there’s that mysterious white envelope. Yeah, it’s going to get opened. Yes, it’s going to get read.

Steps to Choosing a General Contractor

Choosing the right General Contractor is an important process. Your home is a special place and you deserve to have a safe and comfortable living environment. The definition of the word “contractor” from Webster’s point of view is one that agrees to furnish materials or perform services at a specified price, especially for construction work. Here are some things to look for when choosing the right general contractor for your project.

– Don’t be scared to ask for references. If they hesitate to give their information then they are trying to keep you from finding something out. A good contractor has nothing to hide.

– Don’t be pressured into signing a contract. Explore your options and choose the right person for your project. And never sign if you don’t understand. Tell them to break everything down on the contract. For example, have each kind of material in its own space with the price next to it, then the cost of labor on its own.

Example: 10 2x4s @ $1.00 a piece — $10
Labor total $500 or $15 per hour

– If a contractor wants to be paid by the hour, be sure to have proof of all hours worked. Ask how they plan on keeping track of their time and if they can estimate how long a job will take.

– Get all estimates in writing. Make sure the contractor sticks to the original plans, unless you want something different.

– Never pay when a contractor demands cash payments, always have record of all payments.

– Ask them if they will guarantee their work and for how long. If something happens because of the contractors negligence it is the contractors responsibility to fix their mistakes.

– Always make sure the contractors will clean up after themselves. Some contractors will leave you to clean up after their work. Get it in writing and specify everything that needs cleaned up and how.

– Only make final payment when all work is done. That includes cleaning up. Make sure you are satisfied with the work and go over everything that was done before you hand them the final payment.

The contractor you choose should be able to put new insight on your project, and make suggestions on things you may not have thought of. They can tell you the proper materials and should use all the safest most efficient ways to complete your project in a timely manner. But, always remember, it is your project and everything should be done your way. The contractors work for you!

Atlanta Apartment Rents

Apartment rents are a major concern for a person looking for an apartment for short- or long-term accommodations in core business centers such as Atlanta. Apartments are recent additions to this business center, and these offer move-in rent concessions or post-construction rent concessions. These concessions temporarily dilute the overall average rental structure.

Mostly, low rates forced developers and landlords lease the apartments at a lower rate and by piling on concessions. Many apartment management companies still offer concessions, such as a month’s free rent or waived security deposits. Sometimes even four months free rent is allowed. Rental concessions are available for older apartments as well.

In Atlanta, high-rise luxury apartments account for the majority of rental types. Furnished and unfurnished apartments are available for the native community as well as job seekers or students from other states and abroad. Generally, the Atlanta apartment market has switched to a lower rate corresponding to a weak job market. Negative absorption and positive absorption are two other conditions affecting the rate of apartment rents. Negative absorption tends to decrease the rental rate, while positive absorption will increase the rental rate.

In the Atlanta metropolitan area, the monthly rent rate of one-bedroom apartments is higher than that of two- or three-bedroom apartments. These are specific areas where apartments are built to cater to various socioeconomic groups with distinct administrative or natural boundaries. These apartment markets always show a big difference in rent levels. Some recent natural disasters have also affected the normal rental rates in Atlanta.

The National Real Estate Index reports that there has been a slight decrease in rent for class A apartments in Atlanta. Atlanta apartment rents show some seasonal and business up-down rates. The suburban apartments are more feasible and profitable for those who wish for a quiet life. Urban apartment units such as elevator buildings or loft conversions with extra facilities such as a parking area, fitness center, and swimming pool cost about 50 percent more than those in suburbs.

FAQS About Public Defenders

When you are learning about public defense, the first question you are likely to ask is, “What is a public defender?” So let’s not waste anytime answering this question, and many more frequently asked questions about public defense lawyers. A public defender is a criminal defense lawyer that works for the state and paid by the government. They provide free legal representation to defendants that are facing criminal charges that are punishable by jail time. Continue reading to read more common questions and answers just like this one!

Do Defendants Have to Pay for a Public Defender?

No, clients do not pay. However, a judge must decide that a defendant qualifies for public defense before one is appointed to them. In cases that a person is fully capable of paying for a private representation, they may be denied state assistance.

Is a Public Defender Less Qualified Than a Regular Criminal Lawyer?

No, both public defenders and private criminal attorneys are equally qualified in terms of education requirements, certifications, and licensing. The only difference is the level of skills and experience of each person.

Should I Use Public Representation or Hire My Own Lawyer?

Although public defenders are equally qualified doesn’t mean they are the most promising option for defense. Since they work for the state, their case loads are extremely rigorous and overflowing. This means they only have a limited amount of time to spend on each case. A private attorney can provide personalized representation to ensure you avoid the maximum penalties if convicted of your charges. Whether you are facing a petty charge like shoplifting, or a major charge like manslaughter, private counsel is the best choice, no matter the price. You can’t put a price on freedom, after all.

Can a Public Defense Lawyer Reject My Case?

If you are indigent and cannot pay your bills as they come due, it would be both unethical and illegal to have your case rejected since it is a violation to your Constitutional rights. Although a case can be handed over from one lawyer to another, it cannot be rejected and ultimately “skipped over” or denied. A person who is entitled to free representation will get it, no matter what.

Can I Request a New Lawyer?

If you are found to be eligible for state defense, you will be assigned a lawyer by the court. If this lawyer does not meet your expectations or recover the plea arrangement that you wanted, you do not have any options. Unless you can prove to a judge that your current lawyer is somehow violating your right to adequate representation, you cannot switch or be appointed a new one. Inadequate representation includes scenarios like missing appointments, failing to meet deadlines, forcing you to a certain plea, not informing you of case status and court dates, and ignoring critical evidence. And if you choose to appeal your conviction, you must hire private representation anyway, so asking to switch at that point wouldn’t be necessary.

Posted in Law

Hiring a Probate Lawyer Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Times are tough, and everyone understands that, that’s why you can obtain services from a Phoenix probate lawyer for no cost to you. These probate lawyers are more than willing to take your case on for virtually nothing.

Did you know that every Phoenix lawyer is required to take a certain number of cases “pro bono?” This means that they do not charge for their services. Did you also know that many of the best lawyers started out as probate lawyers in the beginning of their career?

Obtaining a probate lawyer is actually not as hard as you may think. There are a plethora of probate lawyers listed in your local newspaper or via the internet. These lawyers are hopelessly searching to find people that are in need of their services.

You must be thinking that the lawyers offering their services free of charge are “low quality” or that there is a catch to the deal. The thing is, many of these lawyers really do want to be of service. Besides, if they do your case pro bono and you recommend them to a friend, who becomes a paying client, that results in a positive outcome for the lawyer.

Phoenix probate law can easily become a very complicated, especially if your situation is already complex. For instance, say a person were to die without creating a will or leaving any kind of official instructions with an attorney. This can cause many issues when the heirs want to claim the deceased’s estate.

You can find a probate lawyer virtually anywhere around Phoenix and the west and east valleys. So whether you reside in Chandler, a Phoenix probate lawyer would be more than happy to assist you.

Probate lawyers aim to handle all probate issues directly as the deceased wished, and if there is no will to go by, they will try their hardest to make sure that the rightful heirs are given the estate they deserve.

Posted in Law

The Important Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

If you are on the market for new home siding, it is no surprise that you are considering vinyl. Vinyl plastic exterior has been a long-time favorite for both residential and commercial properties, and for many reasons. Although there are a few drawbacks you need to think about, this material is almost always a safe investment. Continue reading to review some of the common pros and cons of vinyl siding.

Pros

Vinyl siding is mostly admired for its extreme versatility. It comes in a wide range of colors, styles, textures, and more, which makes customizing the look of your home an easy task. Aside from versatility, vinyl is very low maintenance. Caring for it is simple, and there is very little you need to do to make it last a long time. Furthermore, installation is quick and easy, and the cost comparison to other options on the market is very low. It is one of the most affordable choices for residential siding you can buy.

  • Very durable;
  • Lasts between 30 and 40 years with good care;
  • Endless color options and schemes;
  • Very low maintenance;
  • Easy to clean and care for;
  • Insulated options increase energy efficiency;
  • Cheapest siding option on the market;

Cons

There are not many drawbacks to vinyl siding, however, there are a few attributes that are important for you to know in order to make an educated decision. For instance, it is not waterproof. Although it is water-resistant, poor installation can let water leak behind the panels and cause rot, mold, and mildew. Also, many homeowners have complained that the color option is too permanent with vinyl siding. Whatever color you choose, it will always be that color. That is because plastic exterior siding cannot be repainted like other siding materials.

Another common con to this material is the potential for the boards to warp, bend, or dent. This can happen from a string impact or extreme summer heat. Homeowners also complain that whole panels must be replaced because there is no patchwork in vinyl siding. Some additional common complaints about vinyl siding include:

  • 90% of homes have vinyl siding, so it’s not always the most unique;
  • Lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and even high winds can rip panels off;
  • Faulty installation can lead to water leaks, rot, mold, and decay;
  • It can crack in extreme cold weather, and warp in hot weather;

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Your family is at risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning if there are any appliances in your home that use gas, oil, coal or wood. Because carbon monoxide does not have any color, smell, or taste, it is not easy to determine when it is present. Carbon-based fuels are typically safe to use, but they become a health hazard when they do not burn properly.

When carbon monoxide is breathed into the body, it combines with the haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin is the part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. When carbon monoxide is mixed with haemoglobin, the bodys cells, tissues, and organs cannot receive oxygen, and they begin to die. Over time, even small amounts of carbon monoxide in the blood over time can be fatal or cause paralysis and brain damage.

Someone with carbon monoxide poisoning may incorrectly diagnose the symptoms as being caused by another ailment. The symptoms of CO poisoning are very similar to common illnesses, such as viral infections, the flu, food poisoning, and fatigue: nausea, vomiting, headaches, tiredness, and stomach pains. Other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include problems with vision, trouble breathing, erratic behavior, and chest pains.

Many homes contain gas appliances and flues, and these can both cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Sadly, an average of twenty UK residents die from CO poisoning each year, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Improper installation of gas appliances and flues along with the lack of recommended maintenance cause the majority of residential carbon monoxide incidents. A constant supply of fresh air is essential for a home that operates carbon-based fuel appliances.

The best protection against CO poisoning is being prepared. You must be aware that wherever there is carbon-based fuel being used, the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning exists. Everyone in the home needs to know the dangers and signs of CO in the air. A properly installed carbon monoxide alarm can give you an early warning of the presence of carbon monoxide. Make sure your alarm has a British or European approval mark and complies with British Standard EN 50291. These audible alarms are especially useful if carbon monoxide begins to fill the air at night while everyone is asleep.

Insist on a CORGI-registered technician when you install a flue or gas appliance in your home. CORGI-registered installers are trained to set up your appliance or flue accordingly to safe procedures. Once your appliance or flue is installed, have it inspected once a year by a CORGI-registered professional to make sure everything is operating properly and there are no safety risks to your family from carbon monoxide. To prevent CO problems from your flue, hire a professional chimney sweep to thoroughly clean it every year.

Apartment Rentals Tips – How To Get The Best Price

Depending on where you wish to stay, apartment rentals can take up quite a bit out of your budget. You therefore need to be able to rent your apartment at the lowest possible price. The following tips will enable you to get the best possible deal on your apartment without having to compromise on the quality of the place you eventually live in:

1. Ask for a discount: This might seem to be the most obvious thing but the fact is that most people do not do it. If the landlord is particularly eager to get a renter without delay then he or she might be happy to lower the price. In any case, you do have to be willing to negotiate in order to get the best possible price on an apartment (or anything else, for that matter).

2. Ask for added value if a discount is not possible: Some landlords might be willing to absorb building maintenance costs, or at least part of them. You could also ask for free parking to be included along with the house rent.

3. Offer to conclude the deal quickly: Sellers like to see money on the table and they prefer to conclude a deal as quickly as possible instead of waiting for a better offer that might come along. Therefore, you should make your best offer, while also taking out your check book or cash.

4. Try to lock in the house for a longer period: If you really like the house and have plans to live in the particular place for a considerable period of time then you should offer to rent the house for a longer period in exchange for a lower rent. Many landlords will be willing to go for this in order to avoid the headache of looking for another tenant in the future. Needless to say, you will only have a chance of making this happen if the landlord thinks that you are a reliable person.

As you can see, there are quite a few things you could do in order to get the lowest possible rate for apartment rentals. You will be able to have the best possible standard of living as long as you can work out really good rental terms on your apartment. You do have to work hard during the process of finding a house but the results will ensure that your efforts are well spent.