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When Your Spouse Goes Back to School
When one spouse goes back to school, the other feels like he or she is on the outside looking in. Someone they deeply love is (ideally) pursuing something they're passionate about, devoting time, and energy into learning new skills or ideas in order to find employment that will help the couple maintain a certain standard of living for the next season of life. Likewise, the student is also changing. As they encounter new ideas and have new experiences, the spouse is often clueless, not knowing how this new knowledge is shaping or changing his or her spouse.
And then, before you know it, it's like you're married to someone else. The person you knew before school started may now have different perspectives, work habits, viewpoints, friends or goals. And unless you're clued in, you're in danger of not knowing who you're waking up to each morning.
So, what's a guy or girl to do when their loved one is studying away:
Marriages and degrees are both technically just sheets of paper. But good ones are treated like so much more.
A couple can come to their own agreement about property settlement, which the court will generally accept. The Pennsylvania court will decide if either spouse is entitled to alimony, based on age, physical and mental condition, earning potential, duration of the marriage and standard of living. The court decides the duration of alimony, but support ends automatically if the one receiving it remarries or cohabits.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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