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Why consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Sometimes, life throws financial curveballs that are difficult to overcome. You've done your best to keep up, but now you are on the verge of losing everything and are receiving frequent calls from creditors. You can't take it anymore. You are ready to move past this point in your life. This is when a bankruptcy filing may be appropriate.

If you are one of the many Pennsylvania residents drowning in debt, even though you make a solid income, you may qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. What benefits are there to pursuing this debt relief option?

Prenuptial agreement more than just planning for divorce

The decision to marry carries with it the implicit decision to work together. For the average Pennsylvania couple, this decision to work together needs to begin in the initial planning stages rather than after the couple has said "I do." One of the first steps is often an open, honest discussion regarding finances, spending and expectations. When this occurs, the likelihood of divorce may decrease.

In some cases, one of the individuals enters the marriage with considerably more assets than the other. This situation can create an imbalance of power that can have a detrimental effect upon the marriage. One way to address this imbalance is through a prenuptial agreement.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers chance to re-establish credit history

Financial problems can do more than just damage the credit of a Pennsylvania resident. They can disrupt one's life with the constant collection calls and cause the individual to lose sleep worrying about how to resolve the current dilemma. Many find that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is actually more of a relief than an additional burden.

By taking no action at all, it may take years to gradually climb out from under the current debt burden. However, with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the matter can be resolved within just a few months. Additionally, as one is gradually attempting to climb out of debt, additional debt, late payments and other credit marks are being accumulated. Although the bankruptcy will have a negative impact on one's credit history, it allows the individual to begin rebuilding his or her credit sooner rather than later.

Estate administration and probate can affect one's assets

Estate planning is a critical part of protecting one's assets and providing for loved ones. Many decisions need to be made, including whether a will is adequate or if the Pennsylvania resident will benefit by creating a trust. These decisions can have a profound impact upon one's assets, how they are distributed and whether they are subject to estate taxes. There are many aspects to the estate administration and probate process that need to be taken into consideration.

With a revocable trust, the individual establishes the trust and designates its beneficiaries. Assets are transferred to the trust and a trustee is established. In many cases, the trustee and the individual creating the trust are the same. This type of trust is useful for transferring assets without the need for probate. Additionally, with this type of trust, the individual can make changes as he or she sees fit.

Unmarried parents can seek child support payments too

Raising a child is expensive. From smaller expenses, such as shoes and clothes, to more costly expenditures, like extracurricular activities and health insurance, Pennsylvania parents put a significant portion of their finances into their children.

For unmarried parents, these costs are not always fairly shouldered. Child support orders help ensure that both parents are providing adequate financial support and can ease the burden that custodial parents bear.

Pet custody and the Pennsylvania divorce

Pets are children too. At least this is the case in many Pennsylvania households. Although pets are still treated as a part of the property division process in this state, they are often considered to be a part of the family and can become an area of controversy when the couple decides to divorce.

In families without children, the pet often acts as a surrogate child. Both "parents" dote on the pet and cater to its every whim. In fact, there is often a competition to see who can get the pet to play or snuggle with each individual.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides opportunity

At first, it may seem like the end of the world. Bills have piled up, and there appears to be no end in sight. Yet, this is far from the truth. Many Pennsylvania residents quickly discover that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection actually allows them to start over again.

Some mistakenly believe that bankruptcy will only have negative consequences. In reality, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows the individual's debts to be discharged and provides an opportunity to start fresh. Rather than struggling to pay bills, the individual can focus on the future.

These steps could make your divorce easier and less contentious

Let's face it, ending your marriage was probably at the bottom of your to-do list. When you married, you expected it to last, but for whatever reason, you find yourself at a crossroads. You can no longer remain married, but you don't really want to go through a divorce.

It may help to know that many Pennsylvania couples felt, and feel, the same way. Giving in to the emotional fallout could make your divorce messy, expensive and time-consuming. It may be a challenge, but if you can put those emotions aside and treat your divorce like a business transaction, things could go much more smoothly. In fact, you can take additional steps to make the process easier.

Is retaining the home a prudent financial decision in divorce?

In many Pennsylvania families, the home is the central focal point for many decisions. Couples spend time selecting the home, taking care of it and building a life in it. Then, when this life is altered by divorce, the dilemma of who gets the home can become an issue.

Many times, one of the individuals seeks to acquire the home as part of the divorce settlement. At times this is a prudent decision. However, in other cases, it may not be in the individual's best interest.

Do I qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

When in need of debt relief, it can be difficult to know where to turn. You can take advantage of numerous options, but which one is right for you? What is going to make the biggest difference in your life? For some Pennsylvania residents, the answer is Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and how do I know if I qualify? These are great questions with seemingly simple answers.