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3 ways to support a loved one with a traumatic brain injury

Car accidents that result in traumatic brain injuries can change the trajectory of not only the injured individual’s life, but their family’s lives as well. It can be a tremendous transition for everyone involved and it can be difficult to know what to do or say to support someone in the right way. This is why it is good to know how best to support someone who is just starting their road to recovery.

Car crashes make up the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, according to the CDC. What can you do to support your loved one?

If you're divorcing, watch your spending

In the midst of divorce, when everything is changing and uncertain, it isn't hard for people to fall into some financial traps. It isn't uncommon to face money troubles.

If you're anticipating a divorce or are in the midst of one, here are seven financial situations to try to avoid.

  1. Wouldn't a new toy, like a car, help you feel better? It might -- but hold off. Without that second income in the household, you'll need to adjust your spending. Wait until you see what your budget will look like before splurging.
  2. Try not to cash in stocks or other investments to pay the bills. If you have other means to pay your bills, use them. You could owe significant taxes if you sell off an asset that has appreciated.
  3. The ex-spouse paying alimony no longer will be able to write off those payments if the divorce is finalized after Dec. 31. You won't have that extra money in your pocket. You'll be paying more in taxes instead.
  4. Don't pull money out of the 401(k) assets you receive in a divorce settlement. You can roll it over into your retirement account. Taking it as cash now could have tremendous tax implications.
  5. Stop fighting over the house and consider how your finances will be impacted. The house might have a lot of sentimental attachment, but it could be worth less than you think it is -- or even less than you owe on it. Will it need significant maintenance? Consider all the financial effects taking over the house could have.
  6. Don't quit your job to avoid paying alimony. In the long run, the lost paychecks will cost you more than the spousal support would have.
  7. Make a financial plan. You no longer have to share the checkbook or tell anyone how you spend your paycheck. However, you still have to answer to yourself, and it's easy to give in to financial impulses during a trying time such as divorce.

Prenuptial agreements aren't just for wealthy Pennsylvanians

Not so long ago, couples believed they needed prenuptial agreements only if one of them had considerable assets. They were thought to be unromantic and relationship-killers. That's no longer the case.

More Pennsylvania couples these days are signing prenuptial agreements to take uncertainty out of the marital equation. They may decide not to leave their financial futures up to a judge should they divorce. Here are some reasons why you may need a prenup:

  1. One partner has more assets. Usually, what you bring into the marriage, such as property, still will be yours if the marriage ends. A prenup can safeguard that and not leave anything to chance.
  2. One partner earns less. If you make considerably less money than your future spouse, it's smart to put an agreement for spousal support in a prenup to secure future support.
  3. One of you owns a business. If your marriage doesn't last, you could wind up being business partners with the person you've divorced or forced to share the proceeds with that person.
  4. One parent will leave the work world to raise future kids. As you dream of a family, you might decide that when those kids come, one of you will stay at home to raise them. But what if you divorce years down the road? It might be tough for that spouse to return to work in an ever-changing business landscape. A prenup could address spousal support for this scenario.
  5. One of you has debt that the other doesn't want to take on. This could be from student loans or irresponsible spending.
  6. Who gets the pets? In many families, pets are like children. A prenup can spell out shared time for beloved animals.

Pennsylvania man struck, killed by bus

An investigation is underway to determine what led to a 63-year-old man being struck and killed by a Capital Area Transit (CAT) bus in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The man was hit recently when he was trying to cross at the intersection of Second and Market streets in front of the Hilton Harrisburg. The man was a resident of York County, Pennsylvania.

Help available for single-parent adoptions in Pennsylvania

Years ago, it was rare if a person who wanted to adopt a child in Pennsylvania -- or anywhere in the United States, in fact – was not part of a two-person couple.

Not anymore. Adoption by single people has become widely accepted and common in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Thousands of children nationwide live with adoptive single parents, both men and women, who decided they could offer a stable, loving home to a child who needed just that.

4 Dangers of driving at night

Driving at nighttime is more difficult. Even while attentive, it’s easy to suddenly be involved in a serious accident in the night if you don’t know what to watch out for on the road.

If you commute at night or regularly drive late into the evening, here are a few of the dangers you should be extra cautious of.

How to divide assets in a Pennsylvania divorce

You've decided to divorce. You've told your kids, your parents, your friends. It's really happening.

But to move forward, you've got to look to the past and figure out how to divide the assets you've accumulated during your marriage. Here are some things you're going to have to split as you split up:

  1. Your Pennsylvania house: If neither one of you are in love with your home or have sentimental feelings for it, then sell it and divide the proceeds – provided you have equity. If you don't, you might have to sell it at a loss and decide who will pay off the remaining mortgage. If one of you wants to stay and can afford it, then get a new loan, pay off the mortgage and buy out your spouse. You will need to have an appraisal done to figure out the actual value of your house.
  2. Your car: If it's paid off, find out the book value of the car. If it's worth $3,000, then buy out your spouse for $1,500 if you want to keep it. Or, sell it and split the proceeds in half.
  3. Your household items and collectibles: You likely have accumulated furniture, cookware, dishes, electronics and such. You can do a tradeoff, such as, "I'll take the computer, you take the TV" to try to divide things fairly. Start with the items that mean the most to you. It won't be as easy with things of sentimental value or collectible value, such as an art collection. You might need the assistance of an appraiser again.
  4. Your retirement accounts: In the case of a 401(k), your spouse is entitled to half. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) can lay out how the account will be split. An IRA does not require a QDRO. Money in an IRA can be transferred to a new IRA for your spouse as part of the divorce agreement.
  5. Your portfolio, including your brokerage account: Start by listing your holdings by what you paid for them against their value today. You will need to take capital gains into consideration.

Don't overlook the symptoms of brain trauma after a car accident

There are several types of injuries that can happen during a car accident, but one area that causes a lot of concern is injuries of the brain. Depending on the type of brain injury, it may not always be apparent immediately after the accident that someone has brain damage. This is problematic and dangerous, so it is important to know what to look out for and to seek treatment as soon as you can.

The brain suffers damage in closed head injury because the brain collides with the bony skull at high velocity after a blow to the head. Car accidents often whip the head forward and back or from side to side.

Pennsylvania man sues over head injuries suffered on the job

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Pennsylvania drywall repairman who suffered significant head injuries on the job.

The man, who has years of experience in the profession, was injured in 2016 when he fell off a ladder and hit his head on a concrete floor. The defendants are the companies alleged to be responsible for the man's injuries.

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