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5 tips for preparing for ending a marriage

For some time, you may have realized that your marriage was not what it once was. In addition to that fact, you have also come to believe that, despite your best efforts, the relationship will not improve to a point where you believe you can once again be happy with your spouse. As a result, divorce has been on your mind.

While it may have started out as a passing thought, you now think that divorce is truly the best decision for your situation. You may not have decided to broach the topic with your spouse just yet, but you can still take steps to prepare for the proceedings ahead.

A drug addiction could result in criminal charges

Many people end up needing some type of prescription drug at some point in their lives for some type of ailment. While these drugs can often help with these conditions, some of them have addictive qualities, especially painkillers. Unfortunately, many people who began taking such substances for medical reasons may end up dependent on them.

Of course, you may think you have your prescription drug use under control or that you otherwise do not have a problem. Many people with addictions to prescriptions or other substances often feel this way. Sadly, you may think that you could stop using on your own whenever you want, but that may not be the case.

Firearms law covers more than just civil rights

Firearms law involves more than just one's Second Amendment right to bear arms. In addition to civil rights, it also cross-sects with criminal defense, estate planning and other areas of law. Therefore, if a person in Pennsylvania is facing legal problems with regards to possessing a firearm, it is important to seek the assistance of one familiar with the many different types of firearm legal issues.

For example, a person might be facing charges of illegal possession of a firearm, or they may be accused of committing a crime with the use of a firearm. Alternatively, a person may have been the subject of a protective order preventing them from owning a firearm. Certain mental illnesses or having a criminal record could also sometimes make it difficult for a person to obtain a firearm or concealed carry permit. If a person is denied the right to possess a firearm, it is important that they understand why. And, firearms can have a great deal of family value, but passing them on in a will or trust is more complex than passing on other kinds of assets.

Pennsylvanians should review their estate plan after divorce

When a Pennsylvania resident is going through a divorce, it can sometimes be hard to think pragmatically. Divorce is a very emotional time, and often, a person's thoughts are wrapped up in divorce legal issues such as child custody and property division. However, if one is going through a divorce, they will also want to think about their estate planning needs as well.

First, when a person files for divorce, they will also want to revisit their will. Chances are that they may have left certain assets to their ex. As they are no longer in a relationship with their ex, they will most likely want to change their will appropriately. Also, if an ex is listed as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or financial account, this will need to be updated.

New laws aim to deter DUI with harsher punishments

Halloween has passed and before we know it, Thanksgiving and even Christmas will be here. All of these holidays make this time of year one of celebration. Many people will go to parties where alcohol is served. Of course, most people drink responsibly. However, even responsible motorists could still be accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, and newly enacted legislation has increased the potential penalties those accused of DUI may face.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed into law a piece of legislation that would impose harsher penalties on those who are convicted of DUI. Prior to this legislation, a person's third DUI conviction was a misdemeanor offense. Now, a third DUI will be prosecuted as a felony crime. In addition, prior to this legislation, those convicted of vehicular homicide while DUI would be imprisoned for three years. Now that prison term has been lengthened to five years.

Can a Pennsylvanian have a criminal record expunged?

When a resident is convicted of a crime, they will incur a criminal record that will generally follow them the rest of their life. This could make it difficult for a person to secure housing, obtain a job or do any other activities that require a background check. However, in some circumstances, it may be possible for one to have their criminal record expunged.

In general, when a criminal record is expunged, details on the person's arrest, charge or conviction are essentially erased. Here, to expunge a criminal record, the person must file a certain petition with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the crime took place. The petition needs to contain certain identification information, the relevant criminal charges, the case docket and tracking numbers and the disposition of the case. If any one piece of required information is not included on the petition, it will be rejected even if it otherwise had merit.

Qualifying for alimony pendente lite in Pennsylvania

Some individuals worry that when divorce proceedings begin, they will be unable to sustain themselves during the process without access to their spouse's income. Because you stayed at home and raised your children, you may not have the ability to find employment quickly.

Support exists in Pennsylvania called alimony pendente lite, which translates to, "alimony pending litigation". During your divorce depositions, hearings and process, you may have the ability to obtain income from your spouse through alimony payments. This support ensures that no individual spouse proves detrimentally affected by divorce proceedings, even if he or she has never held a job. It is essential, when dealing with alimony and spousal support, that you hire an experienced divorce attorney to help you in obtaining maximum alimony pendente lite during divorce litigation.

Pennsylvania recognizes several types of physical child custody

Per state law, physical custody of a child means the child is physically in the care and control of a parent. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes five types of physical custody of a child. This post will provide a brief overview of this topic, but, as always, one seeking legal advice for their child custody issues should consult with a professional.

One type of physical custody is shared physical custody. In this situation both parents will enjoy significant periods of time with the child in their care. Another type of physical custody is primary physical custody. In this situation one parent has right to have the child in their care for the majority of the time.

When can a Pennsylvanian carry a firearm used for hunting?

Autumn means hunting season is on the horizon. Hunting with a firearm, whether it is for deer, pheasants or other game animals, is a hobby that many people enjoy and look forward to it each year. However, to hunt with a firearm, a person must have a sportsman's firearm permit.

A sportsman's firearm permit can be issued to a person age 18 or above who has a license to hunt, trap or fish. There is an application and fee, and the permit is valid for five years. The permit allows a person to carry a firearm if they are in the act of hunting, fur taking, fishing or is traveling to and from areas where they are going to carry out these activities.

Consent may be necessary to a stepparent adoption

Sometimes, especially when a child's biological parent is not in the picture, the child's stepparent will step in and provide the child with the parental love and support any child needs. Sometimes the parties wish to make this parent-child relationship formal through stepparent adoption. One issue that does come up in a stepparent adoption is the issue of consent.

In general, in Pennsylvania, the biological parent of a child who has not yet turned 18 needs to consent to a stepparent adoption. In addition, if the child is age 12 or above, the child must consent to being adopted. However, there are a number of situations in which parental consent is not needed for an adoption.

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