Friday, June 22, 2018


Divorce vs. Legal Separation in PATaking the necessary steps to legally dissolve a marriage is often a challenging process. A competent, compassionate divorce attorney will not only advise you on separation and how to file for divorce, he or she will look out for your best interests and be there to support you through the process every step of the way.

Separation in Pennsylvania

So how long does it take for legal separation?  The answer to this question is complicated, as there is no concept of legal separation under Pennsylvania law. According to Pennsylvania Divorce Code, separation begins when you stop living together as spouses. Whether you are living in separate households is irrelevant; separation simply means that you are no longer partners and are leading separate lives. After one year, separation becomes a no-fault ground for divorce, even if one spouse is not in agreement.
Although you are not required to go to court to gain formal approval for separation, having a separation agreement in place is vital to address the division of martial assets and debts, child custody & support, medical insurance issues, estate matters, and how finances are to be handled during the separation period.


In Pennsylvania, your divorce may be based on either fault or no-fault grounds. First, you must file a divorce complaint with the Court of Common Pleas. Your complaint should outline your eligibility for divorce in Pennsylvania and the reason for divorce, along with any other matters you want the court to decide. These documents must be served on the other party within 30 days of the date they were filed.
An uncontested divorce by mutual consent (no-fault) means that you both give sworn statements declaring that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If you are in agreement on the terms of your divorce, it is essential to have an attorney draft a divorce settlement agreement, which outlines the terms of the rights and responsibilities of each party and division of property, assets and debts.
You may file for fault-based divorce if you can prove that your spouse:
  • Has acted in a way that made your life unbearable or extremely difficult
  • Abandoned you without a reasonable cause for a period of one or more years
  • Committed adultery, bigamy or domestic violence
  • Has been imprisoned for two or more years
If you are facing separation or divorce, seeking the counsel of an experienced family law attorney is vital to ensure your rights are protected. Whether you need an affordable divorce lawyer to draft a separation agreement or represent you in a contentious at-fault divorce case, our knowledgeable divorce attorneys in West Chester, Carosella & Associates can help.

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Monday, June 11, 2018


Can you continue Operating your Business after filing for Bankruptcy?
Deciding whether or not to file bankruptcy is a daunting decision, but it’s important to remember that bankruptcy laws were written with businesses and entrepreneurs in mind. Filing bankruptcy does not mean automatic dissolution of your business—some types provide protections that often allow companies to continue operations after bankruptcy and discharge. Many large companies such as airlines and auto manufacturers have benefited from strategically filing for bankruptcy, as it allows them to clear up debt and restructure their business, which can lead to more efficient and profitable operations.
Regardless of whether you are thinking of filing personal or business bankruptcy, it is vital to consult experienced bankruptcy lawyers who will help you devise an effective plan to protect your assets and business.

How Different Types of Bankruptcies May Affect Your Business

How and when your business files for bankruptcy will impact its future viability and financial stability. There are several types of bankruptcy you can file, and each has its drawbacks and benefits. Before you file any type of bankruptcy, it is essential to engage the counsel of a knowledgeable business lawyer who can assess your financial situation and advise you on solutions that will be most beneficial to you.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is a court-appointed trustee who sells your assets and pays creditors on your behalf. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, whether you can continue operating your business depends on its structure. If you are a sole proprietor, Chapter 7 may work well to keep your business operational. If your business is a separate legal entity, such as a corporation or LLC, you must file a bankruptcy on behalf of the business. Chapter 7 may be an efficient way to liquidate these types of business structures, but it means that your company will not continue to operate in its current form.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization option that is only available to businesses owned and operated by sole proprietors. In Chapter 13, your business keeps its assets and repays creditors through a repayment plan. There are debt limits that apply in Chapter 13, but certain strategies can help you get your debts below limits before you file. As a sole proprietor, you can include both personal and business debts in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy also allows your business to keep its assets and repay creditors through a repayment plan. It can be complex and arduous, but Chapter 11 is the only bankruptcy option that allows partnerships, LLCs, or corporations to reorganize and continue operations. Chapter 11 is also an option for sole proprietors who want to restructure and stay in business but owe too much to meet the eligibility requirements for Chapter 13.
If you are concerned about whether or not bankruptcy is the right option to preserve your business, our experienced West Chester bankruptcy lawyers at Carosella & Associates can provide the guidance you need to get your business back on track.

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Monday, June 4, 2018


Do you Need a Lawyer to Write up your Will?Regardless of whether you have considerable assets, making sure you have a will in the event of your death is essential to ensure that your wishes are properly carried out after your passing. There are many sites on the internet that claim you can create your own will for little or no cost. However, seeking the services of lawyers who deal with wills ensures that all your legal bases are covered.

DIY Will or Lawyer?

There are many important things to consider when preparing a will. Although a will is not legally required in Pennsylvania, a valid last will and testament can help your estate navigate the probate process more easily. Without a will, laws of intestacy (state laws) determine the distribution of an estate’s assets, which can lead to family conflict and a long, drawn out process.  Unfortunately, if you are not well-versed in how probate works if you write your own will you may end up making the process more challenging for your loved ones. Probate and estate lawyers know the ins and outs of this court-supervised process, and can assist you with not only creating a proper will, but also help your family when the time comes to distribute your estate.

Some issues that can arise if you choose to forego estate planning and prepare your will without the assistance of a qualified attorney include:

If you become incapacitated, your loved ones may not be aware of your wishes. Powers of attorney, living wills, and advance directives are vital legal documents that ensure your finances, health care and end-of-life decisions will be handled according to your desires. An experienced estate planning attorney will take into account all of your wishes and put them on paper, so there is no ambiguity if you need someone else to make these decisions for you. Having these important documents in place will also make a difficult time easier for your loved ones.
You may not be aware that certain types of trusts can keep some of your assets from having to go through probate, cut court costs, save time and help your family avoid paying some types of inheritance taxes. This is just one reason why seeking the services of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney is so important.
If you want to include a testamentary trust in your will, you may create the trust incorrectly and end up causing more headaches for your loved ones down the road. Having an independent third party who understands the complexities of estate planning review your financial and family circumstances will ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected and that your estate is distributed in as efficient a manner as possible.
The experienced attorneys at Carosella and Associates take your entire estate and family situation into account, and can help you create an effective will and personalized estate plan that fits your needs. For top-notch estate planning services in West Chester, PA contact us today.

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