There are a number of forms required to be submitted to the court in the course of a divorce where a claim for equitable distribution of marital assets has been raised. An Inventory and Appraisement form has each party identify all the assets and debts at issue in the case. Values or balances at the date of separation should also be disclosed. The form distinguishes between marital assets and assets an individual may be claiming as non-marital. Any assets identified as non-marital should include an explanation as to why they should be categorized as non-marital. For debts, the creditors should be named along with the nature of the debt. Finally, the Inventory asks parties to identify any assets that have been sold or otherwise transferred.

An Income and Expense statement has each party provide detailed information on their present income and ongoing expenses. With respect to income, frequency of payment and taxes or other deductions from gross income should be disclosed. There is a separate form for self-employed individuals whose calculation of income can be less straight-forward. With respect to expenses, parties should identify if it is a monthly, quarterly, or annual expense. Additionally, parties can mark whether the expense is an individual one versus an expense incurred for their children and/or spouse. Both of these forms help in demonstrating standard of living established during the marriage and financial circumstances of the parties as they separate to assist the court in making support and/or equitable distribution awards.

A foreign adoption decree is a decree issued from another country regarding adoption that took place abroad. If you have adopted a child from abroad, you can take steps to register that foreign adoption here in the United States. Pennsylvania discusses the applicable steps in 23 Pa. C.S. Section 2908. The adoptive parents can file a properly authenticated copy of the foreign adoption decree along with copy of child’s via and birth certificate in the county where the adoptive parents reside. The adoption decree should be translated into English where applicable. If there is no birth certificate or other birth record for the adoptee, the parents may submit an affidavit instead.

The court is to supply a foreign adoption registration form for adoptive parents to use. The form should include information on how to obtain an adoption decree from the Commonwealth. Where the court is satisfied that a full and final foreign adoption was completed, they would enter the decree on the docket and issue a certificate of adoption to the parents. If the court is not satisfied that a full and final adoption took place, instructions regarding re-adoption are to be provided to the parents. All records submitted to the court to register a foreign adoption are maintained by the court and sealed. Filing fees may be assessed by the county for this procedure.  By April M. Townsend