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

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 »

Top Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer

By Sheryl Rentz on December 16, 2014

There’s no doubt that your mind is going a mile a minute if you are facing a divorce. There’s a lifetime worth of responsibilities, possessions and memories to unravel on top of the confusing, overwhelming emotions you must be experiencing. But when the time comes to choose your representative in the split, it’s important to suss out the average from the exceptional. The outcome, and your future, will depend on it.

Even if this is not your first time meeting a lawyer, it’s important to ask plenty of questions during your consultation and to be prepared ahead of time. In the moment, it may be easy to forget to ask some of the following: Read the rest »

Posted in: Divorce

Managing Holiday Stress during a Divorce

By Sheryl Rentz on December 9, 2014

Divorce LawyerThe holidays are a major source of stress for thousands of families in Pennsylvania. In addition to an already hectic work week, parents try to fit in as much shopping, gift wrapping, traveling and quality time with the children as possible. But when parents are navigating a divorce, the typical holiday rush is more than just nerve-racking; it can be downright panic inducing.

In order to help reduce the pressure and anxiety this season, remember to slow down, take a breath, and follow these simple steps.

Less is more. This festive time of year often means trying to make room for everything – every party, every decoration, and every favorite meal. And while you shouldn’t forgo your favorite family traditions, remember to keep things in perspective and plan accordingly. Differentiate between the wants and needs by narrowing down what’s most important. What traditions are more meaningful to your children? This may be the year where you decide to embrace simplicity and relaxation. Read the rest »

Posted in: Divorce

Finding Hidden Assets During Your Divorce

By Sheryl Rentz on November 24, 2014

Unfortunately, for many couples entering the divorce process, even before the official documents have been served, many spouses begin looking for ways to keep money or other assets away from the other spouse. This often means that one (or both!) spouses try to hide financial information.

If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets from you at any point in the divorce, do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania divorce lawyer. The best way to protect your rights and future well being is to evaluate what assets belong to the marriage and work to ensure that you receive your fair share. 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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