Married Pennsylvania residents who are thinking about divorce should understand how the changes created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could impact life after marriage. Certain provisions of the TCJA, specifically those that deal with child support and alimony, may make divorces more expensive for those who separate after 2018.
Pennsylvania residents who work with several members of the opposite sex are more likely to get divorced according to a study published on Sept. 25 in the medical journal Biology. Previous research has revealed that men tend to favor shorter relationships when alternative sexual partners are abundant, but these studies focused on living rather than working arrangements. The new study explores how gender ratios in the workplace affect relationships as this is where most people spend the majority of their time.
An increasing number of people in Pennsylvania who decide to divorce are in their older years. While people often think of younger couples as more likely to split, the divorce rate continues to grow for people ages 50 and over across the United States. Divorce has become more common in general in recent decades, and family familiarity with divorce may encourage comfort with it in future generations. For example, the daughters of divorced parents are 60 percent more likely to separate themselves, and the sons of parents who split are 35 percent more likely to get divorced.
Couples who get divorced in Pennsylvania may struggle with finances after separation. According to a 2008 study conducted at the University of Essex, divorce may affect women's income more adversely than men's. The study found that women's income decreased by about a fifth after divorce while men's income increased by about a third.
When parents in Pennsylvania decide to separate, there may be confusion as to how the child support system works. Noncustodial parents have a responsibility to provide financially for their children, and the support system functions to make that a reality. August marks Child Support Awareness Month, an initiative designed to draw attention to support programs and their importance for children.
While a growing national conversation has pointed to the damage that massive student loans have done to millennials' financial well-being and future, that student loan debt could also pose a risk to their marriages. Student loan debt is a significant financial issue for many, especially young people. Across the country, the average educational debt burden is $34,144 while that number is $39,400 for people who graduated as part of the class of 2017. In addition, over the past decade, the percentage of borrowers who owe $50,000 or more has gone up by three times.
The trauma of divorce doesn't always end when the final documents are signed. For warring Pennsylvania couples with children, the trauma is likely to continue unless they can agree on a suitable co-parenting arrangement.
One of the main worries people have when getting divorced is usually related to financial issues. For Pennsylvania residents who think divorce is a possibility or who are about to start the process, divorce does not have to come with financial shock if they educate themselves about their financial status beforehand.
Most noncustodial parents in Pennsylvania and around the country have their child support payments deducted electronically from their paychecks. Payroll deductions accounted for $24.4 billion of the $32.4 billion in child support collected in 2017 according to the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The federal agency oversees child support collection in the United States and coordinates with local, state and tribal authorities to encourage responsible parenting and ensure that the financial needs of children are met.
Couples considering divorcing in 2018 may want to get an agreement in place before the new year. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will eliminate deductions for those responsible for paying alimony for a high asset divorce. The changes affect family law matters for divorce in Pennsylvania.