How Car Accident Victims Can Improve Their Cases Before Their First Legal Consultation

Initial Impact

One oft-repeated phrase is, “it’s better read about than experienced for yourself.” Few maxims can better encapsulate what it’s like to be a victim of a car collision.

Like any paradigm shift in someone’s life, it’s often dramatic and sudden. The screeching of wheels, the scream of the unexpected, or the shot of unfamiliar adrenaline.

All such tragic events mark the beginning of a typical personal injury case. For simplicity’s sake, we will discuss a common car accident. This piece explores how a victim of circumstance can take control of their situation, and turn their misfortune into an opportunity to better their case and their chances of reasonable compensation.

Self-Assessment

After the initial shock and twisted metal, victims at the scene may be dazed and confused. Regardless of where you are on the road, examine yourself and passengers for injuries. If there are no visible injuries, do the obvious thing and move your vehicle to a safe location if you are blocking the road.

If anyone is injured, get medical help as soon as possible. Truth be told, calling 911 has the added benefit of documenting the incident for later insurance evaluation purposes. This is because the documentation generated from the call tends to indicate a propensity of a person being truly injured. While it may come across as callused, car accident cases – and other cases involving personal injury – are all about documentation.

Insurance claims representatives will even go so far as to reduce the value of a claim on not going to the emergency room, even if there are later objective findings indicating that an injury occurred. Injuries, such as cervical strain and sprain, tend to appear more than one to two days later after the “shot of adrenaline” wears off. However, it’s the documentation early on that is important.

Interaction With Law Enforcement

If police were summoned by a party contacting 911, documentation will again be generated. It is common that police, in addition to checking for injuries, may cite the at-fault driver for either a crime or a traffic infraction.

Keep in mind that a criminal case is the government (or, in Virginia, the “Commonwealth”) versus the defendant. A criminal case is about seeking justice. On the other hand, a personal injury case is about “being made whole again.” Until a magic wand is invented, that means the “bad guy” paying some form of compensation.

Before law enforcement makes a general “first look” at liability, they will gather evidence – including statements from other drivers and witnesses, as well as obtaining contact information. This information is crucial for a Virginia auto injury or car accident attorney to later help prepare a case.

Keep in mind that the initial police investigation is entirely separate from the civil process, which may, in turn, rely on documentation generated as a result of the crash investigation. Even should an officer believe that a person is at-fault in a collision, the other driver’s insurance company may come to an independent conclusion.

One final point is that calling for help may be legally required in some circumstances. In Virginia, assume that it is required if there is someone that is injured or visible property damage to the vehicles.

Document The Facts For Later

Feel free to be your own detective if you have not yet met with a personal injury lawyer.

Ask for the other driver’s name, address, telephone number, and insurance information. If there are other witnesses to the collision, ask for the same. Take pictures with your cell phone of the accident scene and the driver’s license, if provided.

It is perfectly normal and expected for you to provide your insurance information to the other driver, even if they were at-fault. We highly recommend to clients not to make statements to the other driver’s insurance company. They’re frequently very motivated to assign blame to someone other than their own insured.

Don’t be limited in pictures of property damage of the vehicles. If it’s safe and prudent to do so, take copious amounts of pictures of you and your passenger’s injuries. This includes bruising that may later develop.

By being your own detective, the insurance company for the other driver may not be so quick to turn a blind eye to the blame of their insured. Documenting (if safe and not obstructive) while still at the scene to show the location of the impact, road conditions, and the condition of the vehicles may be critical bits of evidence later that a personal injury attorney can later utilize.

A good law firm will use this evidence to help develop your case into the best it can be under the facts. If you don’t have any of this evidence don’t worry. In most cases a client doesn’t provide this information during initial intake. That said, the more information provided the better.

Seek Medical Treatment

In line with the need to call 911, if necessary, is the simple fact that you need to seek medical treatment if you are hurt in the collision or later develop conditions that didn’t exist the day of the accident.

It is critical that you go to every appointment scheduled with a health provider and do everything that they tell you to do. Top in the playbook of every insurance company is to highlight any and all delays or gaps in treatment and try to use that information to diminish the value of your claim.

This is even true if you don’t have health insurance at the time of the collision. It is highly important that if you don’t have health insurance that you waste no time in getting it. In addition to being legally required at the time of this writing, health insurance may cover tens of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in treatments.

Even if you have the most amazing case, not having health insurance means that the proceeds of any later settlement or trial goes to pay the providers when it could have gone to your pain and suffering that you had to endure as a result of the injuries.

As a slight caveat, under some circumstances the insurance company for the other driver may reduce any settlement offer by the amount paid by insurance. However, this depends on the state and an entirely different analysis. You’ll need to consult with a car accident lawyer in your state to determine if this applies.

Avoid Waiting Until The Last Minute To Seek Necessary Medical Treatment Or Blowing Off Your Appointments If They Are Recommended By A Treating Healthcare Professional

Whether it’s the day after the accident and you were discharged from the Emergency Room or it’s month three of physical therapy or chiropractic care, you need to keep your appointments. We cannot stress this enough.

Car insurance companies for the other driver will even go so far as to unjustly say that you’re faking your injuries. They may resort to this accusation if you stop going to your appointments or blow off treatment all-together before it has run it’s course. Frequently, soft tissue injuries can “flare up” if maintenance treatments do not continue until their natural conclusion.

Once upon a time, it was a socially-acceptable attribute for people to be “tough” and “suck it up” despite pain. That doesn’t appear to be a common thread in today’s negotiations with insurance companies, especially when it comes to auto-injury cases. If you feel a certain way, pursue treatment. We recommend to clients to keep a daily pain and inconvenience journal, so we can see how they are progressing in their treatment.

Lawsuit Time: “Let’s Get It On!”

While this article was limited to what a victim of car accident can do to improve their case prior to their first legal consultation, I would be remiss if I did not include one final bit of information: choose an attorney that isn’t afraid of going to trial. If you don’t get the settlement offer that you are looking for (and is reasonable given prior settlements or verdicts), a knowledgeable Virginia car accident attorney would have no qualms about filing a lawsuit and making a request for appropriate damages to the judge or jury.

If, after negotiation with the insurance company and discussion with my client, we don’t get a settlement offer that is reasonable, then it may be time to file a lawsuit.

Occasionally, it may be advisable to cut the claims representatives out all together and file the lawsuit against the person that hurt you.

If the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t place the right value on your case, a jury of your peers may see that you internalized your pain, choosing not to be a burden on your family and friends, and assess damages a more reasonable way.

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Studying Abroad – Top Reasons and Benefits That Can Change One’s Life

An abroad country is referred to as by many as one of the best place one can look to migrate to, to live in, travel or study. It is a very strong and viable choice for anyone looking to travel to for any purpose because of its hospitality, the services and the lifestyle. However, one main reason that will attract young adults and students is its educational facilities. In abroad you got an excellent range of universities, schools which offers varied streams and courses to suit the masses. Many people every year migrate to and stay in overseas countries for the sole purpose of education, learning skills from their preferred courses. They end up availing the services of good study visa consultants before they do so.

Studying in any country abroad in today’s age isn’t like what it used to be decades ago. Students now have multiple avenues that can help them reach abroad, get enrolled in a suitable course and much more. They also have the most reason to study abroad because of the system of education they have in own country. The education system is highly competitive, and each year it gets worse with higher cutoffs and with quotas or reservations for seats. A promising student might thus, miss out on proper education solely on either of these two factors.

When looking to study in overseas universities, one wouldn’t have to face such factors. Merit is given more importance than simply the marks they got in their previous education. As a result, studying in a developed country is simply a country where any student can get a chance at top notch, quality education without any compromise or restrictions. There are a lot more reasons which compel all the students travelling abroad to study.

Top Reasons why visiting Abroad to Study is a Great Decision for Prospective Students:

a) Finance and Expenditure:

Many people used to be on the bench about travelling to other countries to study because they thought how expensive the whole ordeal would cost them. They would think that their parents would be unable to afford their course fees and their stay. All these fears are now debunked with the loans and schemes available to all students.

Students can take loans at attractive EMIs, which will pay for their fees and other financial aspects of their visit to abroad. Apart from this, Students can also apply for scholarship programs which can help them cover the costs of fees and reduce their expenditure.

b) Well-recognized Education Degrees:

A student might naturally choose to pursue their career after completing their course in an abroad university itself, in some other country, or return back. All this is completely fine since degrees from good universities and colleges are recognized in all countries

c) Enjoy different Cultures and Societies:

Any student who travels to any other country, will certainly enjoy the culture and societal make-up. A student will find it easier to assimilate because of cultural references.

To avoid any types of risks to the student’s security, their abroad education consultants will help them get by peacefully. They will make sure that they get placed in only the most secure place they can find, where they will be assimilate and stay peacefully.

d) Professional Help from Valuable Sources:

Students looking to travel abroad to study should know that they won’t be alone in their efforts, nor will their parents. This is because all students looking to study abroad will receive support from education consultants.

These study visa consultants will include of trained and certified professionals who will help the students realize their potential. They will also see to it that the students settle in correctly, acting like a guardian in place of their parents, instructing them and reporting on them to their parents.

There a lot more reasons why studying in abroad countries yields more benefits than staying in one’s own country for studying. All students looking to visit a new country, as a result, will not only enjoy these benefits of studying there, but also get to explore a new country, learn the culture, and make new friends, relations and much more.

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How to Complete a Self-Health Assessment Following a Car Accident

As soon as you are involved in a car accident, the first priority is to have your health and over-all condition assessed by a professional emergency medical technician on-site or at the hospital. For less serious car accidents, it is still important to assess your own health to be sure you are not suffering from a head, spine, or neck injury. The issue with these kinds of injuries is that they can become evident or worse as time passes. So you might seem fine after a car wreck, but can then start to develop symptoms later on that point toward neck and back injuries.

There are signs and symptoms to look for, as well as, tips to learn how to identify the difference between vague soreness and tenderness of muscles, and an actual serious injury. Continue reading for a post-accident health assessment guide and information about filing a car accident injury claim for injuries and damages sustained in a serious collision.

Checking On Your Health

Once you have been involved in a car accident, whether it was your own fault or not, is to seek immediate medical attention. As a car accidents happens, authorities are usually alerted almost immediately; either by someone involved in the wreck or a bystander. Police will ask if you or your passengers need to go to the hospital if it is not obvious or evident that someone is hurt. You can make this assessment yourself, or you can simply have an EMT check you out at the scene of the accident or at the hospital.

You can choose to ride in an ambulance for a faster commute to the hospital for emergencies, but for less serious and less evident injuries, you may choose to take yourself or have a loved one drive you. In other cases, you might feel like you are not injured enough for professional medical care, and pass up the opportunity to go to the hospital altogether. Once you are familiar with how to assess your own condition after an accident, you will be able to responsibly make the choice of seeking further medical assistance, or to care for yourself.

Here are some symptoms to look for immediately after, as well as, the days following a motor vehicle accident:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Soreness or Tenderness of Neck
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Mental Confusion
  • Pain or Tenderness in Lower Back
  • Pain in Neck or Spine
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Pain When in the Seated Position
  • Swelling of Neck, Back, or Head
  • Redness or Abrasions on Body
  • Nausea or Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slurred Speech
  • Bleeding
  • Broken Bones
  • Immobility

Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a more serious injury or internal damage. If you are experiencing more than three of the above symptoms, it is strongly encouraged to go to the hospital or to request an EMT at the sight of an accident. Concussions are one of the most common and overlooked head injuries that results from car accidents. And the problem with this type of injury is that a person can seem fine at first, only to later suffer serious consequences and health decline as a result of a neglected head, brain, or spine injury.

Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim
Contact a licensed personal injury lawyer for information about filing a car accident injury claim against a negligent party that caused you or a loved one serious harm following a traffic accident or collision. You may be entitled to compensation.
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Filing an Accident Claim

Sometimes we can’t all be as careful as we would like, and negligence or carelessness can result in serious injury. If you were to suffer an injury from an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical bills and any other losses. A San Antonio accident lawyer can help you file your claim, as well as present the claim in court if a settlement cannot be obtained. Read on for a list of some possible lawyers in the San Antonio area that you can check out.

Heard & Smith, LLP serves San Antonio and the surrounding areas. They specialize in protecting the rights of the elderly and disabled, particularly those involved in car accidents. The offer free consultations and Spanish speaking lawyers.

If you’re looking for a law firm in downtown San Antonio, you might want to look up the Law Offices of Pat Maloney. They have a good reputation for winning cases involving trucking accidents as well as medical malpractice lawsuits, but they are able to handle a variety of cases in which a client has been injured through the fault of another party.

The law firm of David A. Canales, PLLC, also located in downtown San Antonio, believe in a softer approach to law. They will help you through both the legal and emotional fallout of a serious accident. Whether you were injured in a car accident of through another negligence, these San Antonio attorneys will fight to make sure your rights are protected and that you are compensated to the fullest extent allowed by law.

If you have suffered an injury due to another person’s carelessness, please do not wait to file a San Antonio accident claim. Many people are unaware of the fact that the law sets a time limit regarding how long you can wait to file a claim after the incident occurs. If you wait too long, your claim may no longer be valid and you could lose out on financial compensation that could pay for your medical bills, future treatment, and emotional suffering. You can also be reimbursed for money that you lost by not being able to go to work. So don’t hesitate to seek the help of an accident lawyer!

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Ways to Overcome Copyright Problems

In this age of instant communication, more and more ideas are being born and products created than ever before. With the current entrepreneurial trend, new business owners are creating never-before-seen content and services in order to better the world. With so much going on, it can be easy to create something that copies another person a little too closely. Luckily, there are several steps that can be taken to overcome copyright issues.

1. Get permission from the original owner.

When it comes to using copyrighted content, the only legal way to make use of the content is to contact the original owner and ask for permission. In the event this is impossible, there are websites like Creative Commons that offer royalty-free image and audio files that are free for commercial use.

2. Trademark and copyright your own content.

If you create something you intend to turn into a business or revenue stream, it is important to obtain legal rights to it. While it may be your intellectual property, you cannot prevent someone from creating a similar idea and starting a business based on it. It’s important to trademark and copyright your ideas in order to protect them.

3. Obtain a legal copyright.

Intellectual property can be copyrighted by simply putting the copyright symbol in front of it with your name. However, the Copyright Act covers certain topics that are not so easy to claim ownership of, including architectural and choreographic works. Speaking to a copyright lawyer is the way to go to properly claim ownership of your own work and prevent illegal copying of it.

4. Trademark your property.

A trademark differs from a copyright primarily in the things it protects. While a copyright is usually used to cover a creative work, trademarks are used to protect names, logos, symbols, and other corporate IPs. The process of trademarking a property is lengthy and complicated, so it’s best to consult professional help. You must first search to ensure no similar trademarks exist to the one you want to file; even if an existing trademark isn’t identical, one that is too similar can make it impossible for you file.

5. Remember: registration isn’t absolutely required.

Since 1978, there has been no formal requirement in the United States for copyrighted work to bear the copyright symbol. A novel, for instance, is protected as soon as it is ‘saved’ in a word document. That said, registering the work offers certain protections that proprietary copyrighting does not. A person can only sue over copyright issue if their copyright is registered. The restitution a person may receive for damages will only count after the content is registered, not before.

While it may be an extra step, taking the time to copyright and trademark your property, whether intellectual or physical, can protect it in ways that claiming ownership cannot. Copyright issues can pose a number of problems for content creators or those who want to use content, but knowing how to overcome this problems before they arise can prevent a lot of headaches.

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What You Need to Know About the Increase in Traffic Fatalities in South Carolina

In response to a recent report issued by South Carolina Highway Patrol, there has been an increase in traffic fatalities in South Carolina. South Carolina has seen a whopping 25% increase in deaths caused by traffic automobile accidents.

According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths in the U.S. from 2014 to 2016 increased by 18 percent. However, the state of South Carolina saw a 25 percent increase. In North Carolina, the number jumped to 26 percent during the same two-year time frame.

More traffic, increased distractions, and poor road conditions lead to higher traffic fatalities across the state of South Carolina. Remember, it is easy to call a death in a traffic accident a “fatality”-which is a generic term. But imagine if it were your loved one, or close friend, who died tragically in a preventable traffic accident. Deaths caused by auto wrecks are an unnecessary tragedy. All of us have to remember that it’s not just a “fatality”; in fact, it’s a the loss of a human being-the loss of a father, mother, son or daughter, brother or sister – in a preventable situation. As an auto accident lawyer, I witness how car wrecks affect the lives of real people in our community. And it’s a terrible, terrible preventable tragedy.

What are some of the reasons for these high statistics? The program Target Zero discusses the state of South Carolina’s goal of eliminating traffic related deaths to Zero. One of these factors is the increase in traffic due to tourism. Whether toting our gorgeous parks or our fabulous food, our state, especially the Upstate, has received a lot of positive media attention in the past couple of years. This has resulted in an increase in visitors.

Another contributing factor to the increased traffic could be attributed to people relocating here. In 2015, there was a 2.5 percent jump in the number of registered vehicles and a 2 percent rise in the number of driver’s licenses issued in South Carolina.

With more traffic on the roadways of course there will be more traffic-related accidents. Nevertheless, there are still other reasons for wrecks. Distracted driving, drowsy driving, and drunk driving are still factors in fatality related auto accidents.

So, please be safe out there and be a defensive driver. And follow this simple advice: Slow down. Give plenty of distance between your car and other cars. Get off the cell phone or smart phone. Keep your eyes on the road. Keep two hands on the wheel. Never drink or drive or drive while tired. Take safe driving seriously.

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The Lemon Laws

Lemon cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s are everywhere. Various statistics that I have seen indicate that anywhere from 1 out of 100 to 1 out of 8 vehicles are lemons. Staggering statistics, to say the least. A Lemon, by definition, is a defective vehicle. All states have Lemon Laws that provide protection to you in the event that you have purchased a lemon. These law vary from state to state, but all have common themes.

The first common theme is the defective condition of the vehicle. In other words, something has to go wrong with your vehicle. The state Lemon Laws typically define what elements satisfy the defective condition requirement in order to be classified as a lemon. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the vehicle must exhibit a defect or non-conformity that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of the vehicle. In my experience, these types of defects usually consist of defective brakes, transmissions, engines, suspensions, steering and things of that nature. Claims for electrical failures, noise and leaks usually are sufficient as well.

The next common theme among the state Lemon Laws is the obligation to attempt repairs. Each state Lemon Law sets forth that the manufacturer must be given a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle’s defective condition. In Pennsylvania, that number is three. Some other states have the repair requirements set at four or more. If the Manufacturer or its agent (the dealer) cannot repair the vehicle after a reasonable number of attempts, you have a lemon.

The third common theme among state Lemon Laws is the remedy that you are entitled to if you have a lemon. Most states provide that the consumer is entitled to a full refund of the purchase price OR a free replacement vehicle. Some states go even further. In Pennsylvania the remedy includes all collateral charges as well as the purchase price, including taxes, title charges, down payment, interest and more. If you choose the refund election you may end up getting every dollar back that you put into the vehicle. In addition, most states provide for the recovery of attorney fees and costs as well.

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Admiralty Law Attorneys & Maritime Lawyers – Offshore Accident Lawyers

Many wonder what admiralty and maritime laws deal with. The fact is, these laws were designed to deal with the way in which waterborne crafts interact with each other. Maritime laws are designed to settle disputes, encourage commerce and help injured seamen and sailors.

Maritime law in the United States is compiled by a list of statutes which cover all waterborne activities taking place in United States waters. In the past, maritime laws only covered specific incidents such as victims of maritime air disasters and specific areas such as inland water workers. Modern day maritime law now encompasses a much larger field of occupations, accidents and conditions.

There are currently many law firms that represent the sailors, longshoremen and seamen who have been injured while working offshore. The maritime and admiralty laws were designed by the United States government and have dozens of levels of federal, state and local rules that apply to different situations. Because of this, maritime litigation is often very comprehensive.

Some of the types of maritime accidents that can occur include accidents on barges, ferries, casino ships, cruise ships, shipping vessels, tankers and tugboats. There are literally thousands of types of these boats, but those are the major ones. In addition, there are many types of workers who are covered by these maritime and admiralty laws. Some of the jobs include seamen, engine utility men, deck engineers, harbor pilots, longshoremen, dock workers, fishermen, ferry workers and barge hands.

If you are a sailor, seamen or any other type of offshore worker, and have been involved in a maritime accident, then you have the right to take legal action. Please visit our website for an updated list of dedicated and experienced maritime lawyers. They will help you with your maritime lawsuit and guide you towards receiving the legal compensation you are entitled to.

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What Does a Paralegal Do Day to Day?

Paralegals assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services. They work under the supervision of an attorney. One of a paralegal’s most important tasks is helping attorneys prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals serve as support staff for attorneys through the gathering and analyzing of information relevant to court cases. They perform any function delegated by an attorney, including but not limited to the following:

· Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client
· Locate and interview witnesses.
· Conduct investigations and statistical and documentary research.
· Conduct legal research.
· Draft legal documents, correspondence and pleadings.
· Summarize depositions, interrogatories and testimony.
· Attend executions of wills, real estate closings, depositions, court or administrative hearings and trials with the attorney.

The only legal services that paralegals can’t perform are presenting cases in a court, giving legal advice, setting fees and accepting cases.

A paralegal can be a freelancer or employed by an attorney or law firm or employed by a paralegal firm providing paralegals to attorneys and law firms. A freelancer paralegal charges the attorney for the work he does. If the paralegal is employed with an attorney or a law firm, he is paid a salary by the attorney or law firm. A paralegal employed with a paralegal firm is paid a salary by the firm who then bill the attorney or law firm hiring the firm. Besides attorneys and law firms, government departments, insurance companies, real estate companies and corporate also require paralegal services. Within these organizations, paralegals are responsible for a variety of areas including bankruptcy, corporate, criminal, family and labor law, litigation, immigration, intellectual property, real estate and employee benefits to name a few.

Generally, there are no specific qualification requirements for becoming a paralegal. However all paralegals in California must complete 4 hours of mandatory continuing education in either general law or in a specialized area of law. Many universities offer paralegal training programs. Most paralegals have an associate degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree coupled with a certificate in paralegal studies. There are professional bodies that provide voluntary certification for paralegals. Some employers train paralegals on the job, hiring college graduates with no legal experience.

A Paralegal must be able to document and present findings and opinions to the supervising attorney. Good research and investigative skills and understanding of legal terminology are essential for a paralegal.

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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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