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5 tips for putting kids first when co-parenting

Courts tend to favor joint custody, which means you and your ex will probably wind up co-parenting your children.

The goal, for the court and for you as parents, is to focus on the children's best interests. You want to put them first. While co-parenting can be challenging, here are five different ways you can do it:

Your children have rights in a child custody case

As you are working out the details of a child custody case, you have to make sure that you are keeping the children at the heart of the matter. Parents sometimes think more about the logistics instead of the children's feelings. You have to find the balance when you are in this position.

It might help you to remember that your children have rights throughout this process. These don't take away from your ability to parent them, but they do put forth a good set of guidelines for you to follow, even after the divorce and custody order are finalized.


The following is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (in this case, the real estate buyer). One day last week, a client of mine called me to let me know that her offer on her new house had been accepted and she wanted my office to order the title insurance. I asked her to have the realtor forward me the agreement of sale so I could commence protecting her interests in purchasing her home. I informed her that our title company, Heartland Abstract, does not charge the $200 to $350 in "junk fees" (settlement fee, wire fees, UPS fees, document preparation, e-doc delivery, etc.), so she would be able to utilize the cost savings to purchase some personal items for the house, like perhaps a television or some window treatments. She was very excited and told me she would have the document sent to me.

Handling changes to workers' compensation benefits

Workers who are injured while they are doing their jobs count on workers' compensation. They need the program benefits to help them get medical care and pay for their bills while they are off work. For some workers, everything seems fine at first. They might think that they are going to be taken care of until they can go back to work.

When injured workers return to work, it is often a trial to see what happens.  But even if they return to work for a few hours or a few days and it doesn't work out, the workers' compensation insurance will seek to modify or suspend the workers' wage loss benefits.  They file a Notice of Suspension or Modification under Section 413(c) or 413(d) of the Workers' Compensation Act.

Try to prevent work-related backaches

When you go home from work, you shouldn't have to deal with annoying aches and pains.  Even people who have physically demanding jobs deserve to be comfortable once they get home.  One thing that might happen at any job is a backache.  backaches are unfortunately common but they do not have to be an everyday occurrence, and they might signal a serious problem.  Fortunately, there are some easy ways that you can protect your back in a way that might prevent a backache.

Use ergonomic positioning. You need to always use proper posture.  Slouching can easily cause back pain.  If you are sitting at a desk, make sure your desk is the proper height so that you can reach the desktop without slouching.  If you are using a keyboard or a mouse, try not to reach over to them. Having to stretch to reach them can lead to back strain.  Additionally, make sure that your monitor is in a position where you don't have to look down to read the screen.

Divorces require planning and compromise

Divorce cases are sometimes planned, but there are also cases when one party is surprised by the filing. When the divorce is a shock, you need to work quickly to catch up to the plans that your ex might have already made. This is a difficult position in which to find yourself, but we can help you figure out where you need to place your focus. Just don't waste any time before you get started.

There are two main areas where you will likely need to focus -- child custody and property division. Cases with children will almost invariably involve child and spousal support issues as well. We will help you evaluate the situation to determine what you need to figure out first.

What happens after a workers' compensation claim denial?

No one plans to get hurt at work. After all, the injury you suffer can often result in an inability to work and lost wages as you recover. Sadly, hundreds of people get hurt at work in Pennsylvania every day. Thankfully, in most cases, these workers also have the protection of workers' compensation, which ensures that those who get hurt while working for a living won't end up impoverished as a result.

Workers' compensation can cover medical expenses, a portion of your lost wages and even scarring and disfigurement in some cases. These benefits can help you pay the bills and can ensure that you receive adequate medical care, regardless of whether you have regular health insurance with a high deductible or a high co-pay. Unfortunately, some people who apply for workers' compensation coverage end up denied. These people do have the right to appeal that decision, and we can help.

Know what you need to think about when you are divorcing

When you are going through a divorce, it is easy to be so consumed by the need to get everything over with that you are willing to say "whatever" and just get whatever you can. The fact is that doing this can harm your future so you need to make sure that you go into the process with the right attitude and with the best plan that you can.

One thing to remember is that you aren't going to get a divorce over with in a day. State laws dictate how long you have to wait from the initial filing until the divorce is finalized. You might be able to get everything handled within this time if you and your ex are able to work out a deal in mediation.

Workers' compensation coverage is vital for employees

Being hurt at work is a difficult situation for workers. For many of them, the desire to just keep on working to earn a paycheck is great. The situation becomes challenging when that isn't possible.

Employers have a duty to provide workers' compensation coverage for all workers who are employed by them. Not only does this help to protect the business, but it also helps to protect the workers.

Take your divorce case step by step

People going through a divorce often have very specific concerns. These can range from child custody matters to deciding what to do with the house. A lawyer can help you address these issues.

One of the first things that you need to do is to discuss your options. Find out what you might be able to do. Learn about what the law says might happen if you cannot work out a settlement with your spouse. We can help you find solutions.

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