Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers

Pennsylvania Family Law Blog – The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz

Tax Implications in High-End Divorce Cases

By Sheryl Rentz on May 19, 2015

Division of property is not the only complicated consequence of a high-end divorce. There are many other factors in a high-end divorce that must be considered, not the least of which are the tax implications. If you are in the process of going through a high-end divorce in Pennsylvania, please make sure you understand its potential impact on your taxes.

Your divorce will affect your taxes, but there is no hard-fast rule to help you predict how much your taxes will change. Child support payments are not taxed but receiving spouses are taxed on spousal support. Property transferred from one spouse to another during a divorce is often taxable as well. There are even specific tax laws in place that may affect the transfer of US bonds, life insurance, annuities, and the sale of a principal residence. Additionally, there are tax questions that may arise in relation to retirement plans. Read the rest »

Posted in: High-Asset Divorce

How Social Media Can Hurt or Help Your Divorce Case

By Sheryl Rentz on May 5, 2015

Pennsylvania Divorce LawyerThe growth of social media has had many unexpected consequences. If you are involved in a car accident, the insurance companies involved may scan your Facebook page to see if you recently admitted fault for the crash online. When applying for a job, you can expect your potential employer to review your Twitter feed and your LinkedIn connections. Similarly, what you post online can have a direct impact on your divorce proceedings.

According to a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, over 80 percent of divorce attorneys say there has been a significant increase in evidence collected through social media. Information obtained through social media searches can provide valuable evidence for and against litigants who are negotiating settlements and custody. It is even possible to request for the preservation of texts emails and social media posts until after the case has concluded. Read the rest »

Posted in: Divorce

Judge Deems Facebook an Acceptable Way to Serve Divorce Papers

By Sheryl Rentz on April 20, 2015

Serving divorce papers can prove challenging during a contentious separation. There are some cases in which a spouse deliberately people to avoid being served. In other situations, a spouse may be hard to reach, in between homes, or without a phone or place of employment. When someone is not available to be served papers, alternative methods may be needed.

In one recent case, a woman has been granted the right by a judge to serve divorce papers on social media. According to a CNN news report, the Brooklyn woman had been trying to divorce her husband for several years but had been unable to meet him in person to serve him the papers. Her divorce attorney filed an application requesting alternative means and the judge agreed pending that a number of criteria are met. Read the rest »

Posted in: Divorce

Pursuit of Child Support Results in Unprecedented Arrear in Lackawanna County

By Sheryl Rentz on April 6, 2015

For six years, a Lackawanna County woman struggled to get the child support she was promised from her ex-spouse. As a result, Lackawanna County officials put the delinquent father on their “Most Wanted” list for outstanding child support. According to a news report in The Moscow Villager, officials were finally able to help her receive a check for $39,772.65, the largest collection of child support arrears in the history of Lackawanna County.

Officials with the county threatened to force the sale of the delinquent father’s home in order to get the mother the money she needs. He allegedly violated the law by skipping town and fraudulently attempting to transfer the property to his new wife and stepson. The pressure from the county helped encourage the delinquent father’s current wife to pay the support in full.
Read the rest »

Posted in: Child Support

Jeremy Renner Embroiled in Complicated Divorce Proceedings

By Sheryl Rentz on March 30, 2015

Montgomery County High Profile DivorceHigh profile divorce cases often become contentious when it becomes time to negotiate finances and child custody. Actor Jeremy Renner, perhaps best known as Hawkeye in “The Avengers,” is currently in a battle with his estranged wife. According to a People news article, a friend of Renner is claiming his estranged wife from Canada only married him for a green card. There are even rumors and allegations of negligent parenting. His wife of 11 months has denied the allegations and is pursuing full custody as well as child support from Renner. Read the rest »

Custody Rights about to Change in Pennsylvania

By Sheryl Rentz on March 9, 2015

Under current Pennsylvania law, a convicted rapist can maintain parental rights over a child conceived through rape. Many believe that this is a large loophole in Pennsylvania law that must be closed before it hurts more sexual assault survivors. According to a WESA 90.5 news report, State Senator Randy Vulakovich and Representative Joe Hackett are introducing the Rape Survivor Child Custody and Support Act. If their bill becomes law, courts will have the authority to terminate the parental rights of a convicted rapist while preserving the rapist’s obligation to pay child support. This means that convicted rapists will remain financially responsible for the child, but they will not be granted parental rights. Read the rest »

Posted in: Child Custody

Tax Implications in a High End Divorce

By Sheryl Rentz on February 16, 2015

If you have never gone through a divorce before, you may be unaware of all the potential consequences of your separation. For example, there are substantial tax implications to a divorce. In general, you can divide most of your assets without any federal income or even gift tax consequences, but there are exceptions to the rule.

There is an opportunity to make tax-free transfers before a divorce and when a divorce becomes final. This means that you can receive tax-free treatment when exchanging stock and transferring vacation home ownership as long as the exchanges are made because of a divorce. For years, the IRS would get involved when couples transferred vested stock options, but you no longer have to claim the fair market value of all the stocks you move because of a divorce. However, you or your ex will have to recognize the income when the asset is sold, converted to cash, or exercised. Read the rest »

Posted in: High-Asset Divorce

Sherri Shepherd’s Surrogate Speaks Up

By Sheryl Rentz on February 2, 2015

Pennsylvania Child CustodyOn September 12, 2013, Sherri Shepherd, the former host of “The View,” signed a 23-page contract to become the intended mother of a baby being carried by another woman. Shepherd wanted another child, but knew that carrying a baby would be difficult for her. According to a news report in Inside Edition, a 32-year-old surrogate mother was paid $25,000 to carry the baby for Shepherd and her husband, and the embryo was transferred to her uterus in November of 2013. Then, Shepherd and her husband separated and she allegedly lost interest in the baby. Read the rest »

Posted in: Child Custody

Property Division in High Asset Divorce Cases

By Sheryl Rentz on January 19, 2015

One of the most important and complicated parts of a high-asset divorce is property division. There are many assets that both parties may want, such as businesses, cars, boats, collectibles, and furniture. There are also non-tangible items that may be coveted, such as bank accounts, trusts, stock options, patents, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and copyrights. Before you can even begin to divide these assets, you must identify them specifically, determine when the assets were acquired, and give each asset a value.

Identifying property is not as easy as it sounds. Make a list of everything you own separately and jointly. You can always remove items later. Make sure this list includes every tangible and non-tangible item you can think of that has value. Next, you will need to describe each asset as marital or non-marital. Under Pennsylvania law, all assets acquired by either spouse during marriage are considered marital property. Non-marital items may include assets acquired before marriage, assets acquired through inheritance, and assets acquired after the date of separation. Read the rest »

Posted in: Property Division

Lessons to Learn from Chris Rock’s Divorce

By Sheryl Rentz on January 5, 2015

All divorce proceedings can prove stressful and complex. This is especially true when at least one of the spouses has a significant amount of wealth. To prevent contention and disagreement in the event of a divorce, Chris Rock and his then fiancé had signed a prenuptial agreement. This agreement, commonly known as a “prenup,” was designed to streamline the divorce and protect Rock’s finances. However, since they were married back in 1996, his agreement has expired.

It is common in a prenup involving clients with large amounts of assets to have sunset provisions. These are terms of the prenup that are only applicable for a certain amount of time. This allows the wealthy spouse to protect his or her assets if the marriage does not last. Some sunset provisions allows the wealthy spouse to protect the majority of his or her wealth for many years while other provisions may allow the entire prenup to expire. Read the rest »

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Montgomery County Divorce Attorney Disclaimer: The divorce, visitation, child support, child custody, spousal support, or other family law legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact an attorney at our law firm office. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Pennsylvania.

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