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

Category Archives: Practice Issues

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CREDIT REPORT, PLEASE

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

In the past decade, Americans have racked up a prodigious amount of debt and it is fairly common for clients in divorce to not really understand how their debt is structured.  Was the U.S. Airways VISA joint or husbands with wife designated as an authorized user?  When trying to disentangle a couple’s financial relationship it… Continue Reading

IS COLLEGE PLANNING A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues, Support

Today began with a meeting with co-counsel and clients to follow through on matters we had resolved by agreement reached earlier in the summer.  The parties have two children, one of whom is heading into the age of college search.  Our agreements contain some reasonably clear provisions about continuous enrollment, consultation with parents and suitable… Continue Reading

WINDSOR DECISION AFFECTS RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Same Sex Marriage, Taxes

Last May, Susan Foreman Jordan in our Pittsburgh office issued a very informative alert on the impact of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor on the IRS and Department of Labor recognition of same-sex marriages. Susan identifies and explains how the IRS and Department of Labor clarified, so as to… Continue Reading

PA COURTS WILL ENFORCE OUT-OF-STATE RESTRAINING ORDERS

Posted in Child Abuse, Evidence, Practice Issues, Protection from Abuse

Like many border areas of states, living in eastern Pennsylvania commonly results in legal issues which “span the river” into New Jersey, New York, Maryland, or Delaware (for our colleagues in the central and western part of the state, you can add West Virginia and Ohio); states with distinct laws and procedures from each other…. Continue Reading

ATTORNEY-EXPERT CONFIDENTIALITY NOW A RULE

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

In May I wrote about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s split decision (resulting in affirmation) on protecting the communication between attorneys and the experts working on their cases. This was an important decision for a number of reasons, but despite the affirmation of the lower court’s decision, the fact it was a 3-3 split with some… Continue Reading

SOCIAL MEDIA PRENUPS TRY TO ENSURE PRIVATE MOMENTS STAY PRIVATE

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Evidence, Practice Issues, Prenuptial Agreements

A recent story through ABC’s Good Morning America website highlighted the evolution of the prenuptial agreement in the social media age. Divorce lawyers are reporting an increasing amount of requests for language in prenuptial agreements – if not stand-alone agreements – addressing social media usage. It makes a lot of sense. In an age where… Continue Reading

SECRET, SECRET, I’VE GOT A WORK-PRODUCT PROTECTED SECRET

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Evidence, Practice Issues

Many of my cases involve the use of expert witnesses; individuals hired to review and testify about a specific issue or topic. Usually they are financial experts whose job is value a particular asset such as a business, while other experts could be psychologists conducting a custody evaluation. In other areas of law, there are… Continue Reading

MAKE APRIL 11 YOUR TAX DAY

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

It isn’t just the accountants who suffer in April.  Not that they garner much sympathy but lawyers who do divorce work are also afflicted by a tsunami of telephone calls that begin a couple days before April 15.  Most begin with:  “My spouse is in the driveway demanding that I sign the returns he just… Continue Reading

RULES ARE RULES: SUPERIOR COURT SLAPS COUNSEL FEES ON PARTY APPEALING HIS OWN MISTAKE

Posted in Alimony, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Prenuptial Agreements, Support

A very interesting opinion recently came down from the Pennsylvania Superior Court awarding attorney’s fees in a divorce case. This case is a non-precedential opinion, meaning it cannot be cited as establishing law on the issue, but it is emblematic of the risk one runs if you do not follow the rules. The parties, two… Continue Reading

WHAT’S IN A NAME? MORE THAN YOU THINK

Posted in Adoption, Custody, Practice Issues

Periodically I am asked questions about name changes for children or whether a mother is obligated to use the biological father’s last name for the child (answer: she’s not). A child’s last name is obviously an important and complicated issue that relates to the child’s identity and understanding of their history and parents. Mishandling a… Continue Reading

DON’T MISS THE BUS: SEPARATED PARENTS ENTITLED TO MULTIPLE RESIDENCES AND BUS STOPS FOR KIDS

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues

Where a child will attend school is often a hotly contested issue in a custody case, however, school transportation can easily be an after-thought. After the dust clears on the custody trial, the parents simply look to the school district to bus their child to and from school; Mom’s house one day and Dad’s house… Continue Reading

NEVER DOUBT ALAN THICKE: FRESH START TAX PROGRAM IS REAL

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

(Image: www.aaahighroads.com) I am sorry I doubted you, Alan Thicke Like many people, I have a healthy skepticism for infomercials or to-good-to-be-true schemes, so when I kept hearing Alan Thicke – famous for the 1980′s show “Growing Pains,” marrying a Miss World, and the real life dad to pop star Robin Thicke – pitch a… Continue Reading