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Pennsylvania Family Law Updates, Events & Useful Tips Surrounding Family Law Issues

Category Archives: Divorce

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The Do It Yourself Syndrome

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues

There was a time not so long ago when clients would unload their domestic troubles on lawyers like a cord of rotted wood. They might take care in shopping for the right fit in terms of who would represent them. But once the selection was made, the answer was “Let the lawyer do it.” That’s… Continue Reading

Reverse Mortgage Redux

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues, Taxes

This is not a money management blog but what we increasingly find is that many divorce clients simply “trusted” that their resources would be sufficient to carry them through retirement. The great awakening comes when they discover they are now splitting what looked like a comfortable retirement and that their ability to make up for… Continue Reading

Divorce and Adult Children: The 12th Players on the Field

Posted in Divorce

In April, 2014 the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis published a monograph on financial status of older Americans.  It corroborated a trend that has been evolving for several decades. Beginning with the advent of Social Security old Americans began for the first time to preserve and in many cases grow their net worth in… Continue Reading

Adultery by Avatar?: Chapter 2 of Ashley Madison

Posted in Divorce

Last month brought the revelation that someone had managed to hack the database of Avid Life Media’s primary source of revenue; the AshleyMadison.com website.  The report that some 34,000,000 names were now available for discovery has prompted a huge controversy and a lot of angst among its subscribers.  As the scandal progressed it claimed the… Continue Reading

Think Before You Text: iPad Texts are not Protected Under the Wiretapping Act

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Evidence, Practice Issues

We have written about electronic discovery and Pennsylvania’s wiretapping law on this blog before. For family law attorneys, they are issues which can be critical to your case, but also present a minefield of ethical and evidentiary issues. How information may be collected and in what manner can be unclear; similarly, it can be ambiguous… Continue Reading

What the Ashley Madison Data Breach Really Means to Divorce Lawyers and their Clients

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Evidence, Practice Issues, Support

  When I first heard of the Ashley Madison data breach, I seem to be one of the few family law attorneys who felt somewhat cool to the idea it was going to result in a crescendo of divorce filings. First, due to Ashley Madison not having an email verification protocol, the presence of an… Continue Reading

A Lesson in Paying Attention to Estate Documents and Designations

Posted in Divorce

We were consulted recently by a personal representative of an estate concerning the decedent’s death beneficiary of his 401(K) retirement plan.  The decedent had married before ERISA became law, but executed a beneficiary form shortly afterward naming his then spouse.  Later he divorced that spouse with a property settlement agreement by which spouse waived all… Continue Reading

MUST COURTS DECIDE EVERYTHING?

Posted in Custody, Divorce

Today a news outlet called NJ.com reported a recent 37 page decision by a New Jersey trial court adjudicating the question of whether a Father had legal authority to stop the mother of his eleven year old daughter  from taking the child to a concert by the singer-songwriter Alecia Beth Moore. Ms. Moore is known… Continue Reading

REAL ESTATE AND DIVORCE: STOP, LOOK AND THEN LIST

Posted in Divorce

So it’s break up time and you can’t wait to “move on” in not just the emotional but the physical sense of the word.  Even though you and your spouse can’t agree on much of anything, you both agree that it is time to sell your burdensome house and find more comfortable digs of less… Continue Reading

SERVING DIVORCE PAPERS VIA FACEBOOK

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

Facebook continues its march towards recognition as a stable and reliable mode of legal publication and evidentiary source with a recent decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper’s ruling that an estranged wife’s attorney may serve divorce papers to her husband through Facebook’s direct messenger system. That this decision occurred is not surprising since… Continue Reading

THE PERIL OF THE OFFICE SERVER

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

We learned this week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have used personal email accounts to transact State Department business.  Chances are you may have read the article and quickly turned back to your office computer to confirm your Saturday night dinner plans or to email your attorney about filing a joint tax… Continue Reading

Protecting Health Information in the Context of Divorce Proceedings and Domestic Relations

Posted in Divorce

My colleagues Michael Kline and Elizabeth Litten recently co-wrote a series of blog posts for the firm’s HIPAA, HITECH and HIT blog containing valuable information for individuals either undergoing divorce proceedings or navigating other domestic relations issues. In their series, Michael and Elizabeth explore complex issues arising from the November 2014 ruling by the Connecticut… Continue Reading

THE FORGOTTEN TAX DEDUCTIONS

Posted in Alimony, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

The general rule is that personal expenses are almost never deductible by taxpayers on Schedule “A” (Itemized Deductions) of their personal returns.  But all rules have exceptions and almost everyone is familiar with the deductions available for medical and dental expenses.  These are great deductions but with this hitch.  You only get to deduct the… Continue Reading

AN HOUR ON THE TEENAGE BRAIN

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues

The January 28 edition of Terry Gross’ Fresh Air distributed by National Public Radio featured an interview with the chair of the University of Pennsylvania Neurology Department, Frances Jensen.  The subject was a relatively in depth discussion of the teenage brain. At one level a lot of this is news that has been available. The… Continue Reading

IT TURNS OUT THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DOES AFFECT DIVORCE AGREEMENTS.

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues, Support

A panel decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court on December 23, 2014 informs us that despite recent decisions refusing statute of limitation defenses in actions to enforce property settlement agreements, the defense still lives.  It comes down to the nature of the obligation for which enforcement is sought. We start with the older cases.  In… Continue Reading