Constance Pifer Brunt’s Answers

Constance Pifer Brunt

Contributor Level 9
  1. How to you get money out of a 401K if you are getting divorced?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    1 lawyer answer

    Pension distributions and qualified domestic relations orders ("QDRO's'")are extremely complex areas of the law. In fact, many family law lawyers choose not to prepare QDRO's for that reason and hire pension experts to do so. If they are not properly drafted, the outcome may not be as intended, and there can be adverse tax consequences. In order to avoid the imposition of income tax on the distribution from the 401K, it must be done pursuant to a QDRO and the funds being distributed to the...

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  2. How can I get a divorce with little or no money?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    1 lawyer answer

    Unfortunately, your situation does not appear to be a simple one. There are numerous issues that must be addressed, including the equitable distribution of your home and any other property, the parenting (custody) arrangements for your children, child support, and possibly alimony. While most county court systems offer forms and instructions for use by persons representing themselves to file the legal papers to obtain a divorce, you will lose many of your economic rights if a divorce decree...

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  3. Move back into my home

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    1 lawyer answer

    If you are named jointly on the deed, you technically have a right to re-enter the house. Given that you have not lived there for 1 1/2 years, however, it is quite likely that your wife would be able to obtain an Order from the court granting her exclusive possession and excluding you from the house. While this may be possible, it may not be advisable under the circumstances of your case. You should also consider the impact on your children, if they are living in the home. Based on the...

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  4. I currently have a property settlement agreement, for nearly 2 years .been separated best way to go forward

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    1 lawyer answer

    As a general rule, an agreement that is comprehensive and waives any rights other than those set forth in the agreement would be upheld as valid and would prevent economic claims from being raised in a divorce action. There are exceptions to this general rule, however, including where an agreement may be challenged for fraud, misrepresentation, duress or coercion. If both parties had lawyers representing them at that time, it would be more difficult to invalidate an agreement on these grounds,...

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  5. In Pa, my spouse has filed the divorce complaint but has done nothing else in 1 year. How do I get 1/2 of everything?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Stephen J. O'Brien
    2. Constance Pifer Brunt
    2 lawyer answers

    If the divorce complaint only asks for a divorce, and all (or a large majority) of the property is titled in one spouse's name, the divorce could be finalized and cause the other spouse to lose rights to seek an equitable distribution of all marital assets. Once parties have been separated for 2 years (which could commence with the filing of a divorce complaint even if they are still living together), one spouse may be able to obtain a unilateral no-fault divorce without the consent of the...

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  6. We have agreed to divorce. My husband is trying to convince me to use mediation. Pros/cons? PA realestate and children

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    1 lawyer answer

    The question of which method of dispute resolution is appropriate in your case depends on many factors. Generally, the benefits to mediation include the fact that it is a non-adversarial and private process. Mediation allows you and your husband to control the process and to make the decisions that you feel are right for yourselves and your family, rather than allowing a court to make those decisions. A problem-solving approach is used to achieve a more individualized resolution that both of...

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  7. Is it best to push for a "Master Trial" to have a divorce decreed if my ex is refusing to end the marriage?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    1 lawyer answer

    Since you have been separated for more than 2 years, you should be able to force your wife to move forward to conclude the divorce, even if she refuses to consent to the divorce. The divorce is not automatically finalized once the 2 year separation expires. There are certain procedures that must be followed to legally position the case so that you can do so, which you should discuss with your attorney. Clearly, your wife has no incentive to take any action to finalize the case. Ultimately,...

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  8. Who gets the house? Property transmutation - what is marital or separate for property settlement/equitable distribution

    Answered almost 6 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    1 lawyer answer

    As a very general rule, property gifted to one spouse by a third party (like the family members here) and continuously held in that spouse's individual name is considered non-marital, separate property, except to the extent that its value increased during the marriage up to the date of final separation. The net increase of all of the spouse's non-marital property can be considered marital property subject to a claim for equitable distribution by the other spouse. So, if this property...

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  9. Non custodial parent moving

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    2. Stephen J. O'Brien
    2 lawyer answers

    Without seeing the custody agreement, it is not possible to comment on whether its specific provisions would prohibit you from moving or from taking your daughter to your new home for your partial custody periods. As a general rule, however, the relocation of the parent with the type of partial custody arrangement that you describe would not necessarily require court approval or a change in the schedule. The court's approval of a relocation is required when the custodial parent intends to...

  10. Can I have the parental rights of my 6 year old son's father terminated. He hasn't been allowed contact with him since 11/2004?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Constance Pifer Brunt
    2. Stephen J. O'Brien
    2 lawyer answers

    It may be possible for your to terminate the father's rights if he has had no contact with the child for more than 6 months, has not paid support, and has otherwise failed to meet parental obligations. But this is generally only permitted in connection with an adoption by a step-parent. If there is no step-parent who will step into the role of the parent through an adoption, it is the policy of the law not to terminate the parental rights and obligations of one of the parents, leaving the...