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From real estate to family law matters, Vinsko & Associates, P.C. is the keystone to any legal strategy.

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Vinsko & Associates, P.C.

Bold Representation. Sound Results.

From real estate to family law matters, Vinsko & Associates, P.C. is the keystone to any legal strategy.

3 issues couples can address in their prenuptial agreements

You don’t need millions of dollars in property to make a prenuptial agreement a smart protection when you decide to get engaged. Prenuptial agreements are not just about preserving someone’s wealth. In fact, agreements that are clearly biased in favor of one spouse may end up invalidated by family courts because they are unethical.

Contracts need to offer some kind of valuable consideration to both parties for them to be valid. Both you and your spouse should think about your personal concerns about both marriage and the possibility of divorce. Each of you will have the right to integrate certain terms that will protect you during the marriage and if you ever decide to divorce.

What kinds of terms do people frequently include in prenuptial agreements?

1. Protections for personal property

Engaged couples sometimes use prenuptial agreements as a way to protect their individual assets from commingling. People can protect inherited assets or specific property, like their retirement savings, as separate and therefore not subject to division. Other times, couples take a different route and simply include rules intended to guide the property division process.

2. Agreements related to child custody matters

Parenting choices can be a source of conflict both during a marriage and at the end of the relationship. The more thoroughly you discuss how you intend to parent and your expectations for one another related to your shared children, the less you will have to negotiate when you decide to divorce. From the breakdown of parenting time to rules about religion and technology, there are many important parenting terms that you can integrate into your prenuptial agreement.

3. Spousal support considerations

It is important that people know that the common request to waive child support rights in a prenuptial agreement could invalidate the document. Child support is what a parent owes to the children they have, and therefore the other parent does not have the authority to decline those payments in most cases.

However, you can set certain terms for spousal support. For example, you could put rules in place to ensure that the spouse who makes career sacrifices to raise the children will receive proper support if the marriage ends and they have to reenter the workforce unexpectedly.

When you understand the terms that people frequently include in prenuptial agreements, you can see how they reduce the conflict that occurs during a divorce and also how they may lead to a happier and more successful marriage. Talking about a prenuptial agreement with your fiance could help the two of you start your marriage out the right way.

What happens to your family home in Pennsylvania divorce?

When you file for divorce in Pennsylvania, you may not know what exactly to expect. The stories you have heard from other people often won’t apply to your current situation. In fact, they may not have even divorced in the same state, which means that their insight is not useful for your situation.

Divorce requires that spouses address their shared obligations. If they have children, they will need to come up with a parenting plan that explains in detail how they will share the responsibilities that they have to their children. Sometimes, couples may need to negotiate terms for spousal support if one spouse has depended on the other and will need support before they can live independently again.

Spouses also have to divide their property, which can be a very challenging process. The home where the two of you live is likely one of your most valuable belongings. Possession of the home could also influence everything from your daily commute to your custody arrangements. What can you expect to happen with your house in your Pennsylvania divorce?

Most spouses have to share home equity

Given that you have used marital income to make mortgage payments or improvements to the property, at least some of the home equity you have accrued over the years is likely subject to division in your divorce proceedings. Some couples can negotiate their own settlement regarding their marital home.

For example, maybe the two of you can agree that the parent with more time with the children will be the one to keep home. Other times, financial concessions, like giving up a claim to a retirement account, might allow one spouse to keep the home. Some couples choose to sell their home and share what they make in the sale. If they can’t settle on their own, then a judge will make those decisions.

How a judge will divide your property

Every judge in Pennsylvania will need to use the same standard when dividing people’s property in a divorce. They will have to reach a conclusion that they believe is fair and reasonable. Equitable distribution rules give judges a lot of discretion regarding how they manage a couple’s assets and debts in a divorce. You generally have to abide by whatever decision a judge makes related to your marital property.

The first step in preparing for negotiations will likely be determining how much of your home equity is marital property and what your house is currently worth. From there, you can start discussing how to handle the home in a fair manner with your spouse or prepare a strategy for advocating for your preferred outcome in divorce litigation. Learning more about property division rules can help those preparing for an upcoming Pennsylvania divorce.

What to know about title insurance in Pennsylvania

As you look over the paperwork for your upcoming home closing, some of the expenses will likely stand out compared to others. For example, title insurance premiums can comprise a significant portion of your total closing costs. They can also seem like duplicate charges, as those with a mortgage will typically need to pay for not one but two separate title insurance policies.

Although most homeowners in Pennsylvania simply accept these costs without question, others aren’t so sure about this seemingly mandatory form of insurance. What do property buyers in Pennsylvania need to know about title insurance?

What it covers

Title insurance protects those who have invested in a property from claims that someone else has an ownership interest in that property. The average buyer with a mortgage will need to pay for both a lender’s title policy and a buyer’s title policy.

The lender’s title policy will reimburse the company that financed your mortgage if you lose the property to a title claim. The buyer’s policy will provide you with the same coverage by reimbursing you for your down payment, accrued equity and major improvements made to the property if you lose possession due to a title claim in court.

Before that, however, your buyer’s title insurance can help by paying for the lawyer that represents you during a title dispute.

Can you eliminate title insurance?

You can reduce what you pay for title insurance, at least in some cases. You have the right to choose your own title company, and making use of that right could potentially save you some money. Purchasing a lender’s policy is typically not voluntary. You have to have that coverage to purchase the property.

However, your own coverage is something you could cancel. Of course, while claims against title policies are rare, the small possibility of losing your home can make the payment for title insurance seem like a worthwhile investment. Title insurance also protects you by requiring a thorough title review before the transaction occurs. The research stage could identify and resolve issues with the title to the property that you want to buy, thereby protecting you from future claims.

Learning more about title insurance and other real estate transactional expenses can help those getting ready for their closing.

You can protect your real property even after a tax sale

Those with a mortgage typically have an escrow account that sets aside funds for their property taxes. When you finally pay off the principal balance on your mortgage, you may not realize that you have to set aside funds for your annual property tax obligations. When the bill comes due, you may not have the money in savings to pay it.

On the other hand, there are also scenarios where people have the resources to cover their tax obligations, but medical issues or international work opportunities leave them unable to resolve their own financial matters for some time. Usually, the state only acts after someone has become at least two years delinquent in tax payments based on their status on the last day of the year.

There are countless scenarios where otherwise responsible adults could find themselves at risk of losing their primary residence through a tax sale. If your home has already gone up for tax sale, can you still protect your interest in the property?

Owners have the right of redemption

Many counties in Pennsylvania call tax sales upset sales. The state sends notice, and owners have the option of paying their taxes in full to prevent the sale of their homes. Property owners should also receive notice advising them of the property’s sale after the upset sale.

It may seem hopeless when you open the mail and see the notice that local authorities recently sold your property at a tax sale. However, if you follow the right steps, you can potentially redeem the property.

The person who paid the tax bills and other costs at the upset sale won’t be the full owner until you fail to redeem the property. You have up to nine months after the sale to pay off the amount owed and redeem your property.

That window of time exists specifically to give you, the owner who fell behind on their taxes, an opportunity to fully redeem the property. Redemption after a tax sale will require that you pay the full amount due and a little bit extra to the individual who made the purchase at the tax sale. The state requires that the owner pay 10% interest on the price. You must deposit the funds in an escrow account and file a petition with the courts.

Provided that you properly follow this process, you can protect your interest in your home despite falling behind on taxes and having the local government list the property for sale to recover those tax payments. Learning more about what protects your investment in your primary residence will help you fight back when facing the loss of a property due to a tax sale.

Strong Legal Counsel For Individuals, Families Businesses and Municipalities in Pennsylvania

Vinsko & Associates, P.C., opened its doors with a single aim: To provide legal counsel and exceptional representation to individuals, families and professionals in Pennsylvania. We have remained true to our mission ever since.

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Tax Sale Litigation

If you are behind in your real estate taxes for two years or more, your property can be exposed to a tax sale. Vinsko & Associates, P.C., has extensive experience in handling Pennsylvania tax sale litigation throughout the Commonwealth.

Real Estate Law & Litigation

If you are looking for assistance with your real estate matter in Pennsylvania, look no further. Our real estate lawyers and trained staff can assist you with any and all issues regarding real estate.

Family Law, Divorce, Custody

When child custody is an issue that you must face, you need a trusted lawyer to guide you through the steps necessary to do what is in the best interest of the child.

Business & Corporate Law and Litigation

We have considerable experience handling legal matters for small entrepreneurial businesses as well as large well-established corporations.

Employment Law

If you have been affected in your job because of your national origin, your gender, your age, your religion, your disability status, or sexual orientation, call us today.

Estate Probate Planning & Litigation

At Vinsko & Associates, P.C., we understand how complex Pennsylvania probate law is and how confused it can leave families as well as personal representatives.

Municipal & Government Law

If you have been affected in your job because of your national origin, your gender, your age, your religion, your disability status, or sexual orientation, call us today.

Personal Injury

Our experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers have settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few years, and we will work just as hard for you!

Seasoned Litigators In Your Corner

Throughout our years of practice, we have learned the ins and outs of the law. When you bring your case to us, we take the burden from your shoulders and put all our efforts toward finding the best solution. If this requires litigation, we are not afraid to step up to the plate. Our attorneys have successfully litigated in state and federal court.

Seasoned Litigators In Your Corner

Throughout our years of practice, we have learned the ins and outs of the law. When you bring your case to us, we take the burden from your shoulders and put all our efforts toward finding the best solution. If this requires litigation, we are not afraid to step up to the plate. Our attorneys have successfully litigated in state and federal court.

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We Meet You Where You’re At

Our clients are located all around Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia area. In a time where distance can be a barrier to premier services, technological advancements have allowed us to remove that obstacle for our clients. We frequently use teleconferencing to meet with stakeholders to discuss details of the case, our goals, and our strategies. Any legal matter can be overwhelming and burdensome, but no matter where you are in the state, you can count on Vinsko & Associates, P.C., to go the extra mile for you.

Founded In 2003 

A full-service Pennsylvania law firm with offices in downtown Wilkes-Barre and in center-city Philadelphia, our lawyers have a history of providing competent legal representation throughout the Commonwealth.

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If you are Selling, Buying or Refinancing a property, whether it be residential or commercial, click here. We can give you estimated closing costs which includes transfer taxes, title insurance, recording fees and other costs you will see. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out how much you will spend. Use our Closing and Settlement Service Center and you will obtain information directly from our real estate closing and settlement staff.

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Experienced Attorneys You Can Depend On

Whether you are dealing with a real estate, business or family law issue, the legal system can be perplexing. At Vinsko & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have more than 32 years of combined experience navigating complex legal issues and developing effective strategies for our clients. When we are formulating a strategy, we never stop when we think we have reached the end. We keep digging, discovering new information and finding alternative ways to solve the issue at hand. It’s one of the many things that sets us apart from our competitors. Clients can depend on us to guide them through their legal issue.

Testimonials From Our Clients:

Working with Vinsko & Associates on the closing of mine and my wife’s house was amazing. They were with us every step of the way during the whole process. They went above and beyond for us and we are so grateful for them and all of their help. – Jason G.

I would highly recommend Vinsko & Associates, P.C. for all legal needs. Their level of knowledge, legal prowess, and professionalism is above and beyond all others I’ve experienced. They obviously take pride in developing relationships and invest themselves in the success of their clients. – Melody P.
Bill and Brian did excellent work for us! Thanks to them we won our case. They made sure no stone went unturned and took care of us and our best interest every step of the way. We always felt like they had our backs! – Jennifer K.
One of the BEST Law firms I have ever dealt with in my career. Vinsko & Associate were very responsive to my questions, my needs and everything that pertained to my legal cases. I have utilized them on multiple levels and cases and I ALWAYS felt as though I was their “ONLY” Client, NOT a Number… Kudos to all who represent this great company! – Chuck T.
Best lawyer in town! Bill has helped me with so much, from purchasing my home, starting a business, drafting wills, and handling contracts. Top notch expertise in all areas. The lawyer you want if you need things done right. Thanks Bill!!! – Matthew F.