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

Category Archives: Practice Issues

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Number 18: Really?

Posted in Practice Issues

Each month we get a report from our own marketing folks on how many people read and subscribe to our blog. On June 29, we received an email from Adelaide in South Australia in which a law firm has taken the time evaluate the 100 best divorce blogs in the world.  It was a bit… Continue Reading

Interest On Overdue Support Arrears; A Reform Worthy Of Real Consideration

Posted in Practice Issues, Support

One of the things the Pennsylvania Bar Association makes a part of its mission is to review and, where appropriate, comment on legislation introduced for consideration by the General Assembly. These proposed laws cover a large swath of public policy territory.  Earlier this year the legislature passed a bill creating a presumption of consent to… Continue Reading

See The Relocation Undone

Posted in Custody, Practice Issues

An interesting and, yes, published relocation case was decided by the Superior Court on June 15. D.K.D. v. A.L.C. 2016 Pa. Super 123 involved custody of a child, age 8, who suffers from Pervasive Personality Disorder. The parents separated shortly after the birth of L.D.  They were not divorced until 2015. L.D. showed signs of… Continue Reading

The Guidelines are Coming!

Posted in Practice Issues, Support

For those of you who practice in this area or are “regulars” in the child support system, you know that every four years, the statewide child support guidelines are due for an update. The purpose is to try to keep pace with the economic times and the cost of raising children.  For the 2008 and… Continue Reading

No Lawyers Allowed – Discovery Rule Decision Bars Counsel from Observing Evaluation

Posted in Evidence, Practice Issues

The Discovery Rules account for all manner of need for obtaining evidence. Many of these rules are seldom, if ever, utilized by family law attorneys because either they are not germane to a family law case; not permitted by the Divorce Code (i.e. prohibition against discovery in simple support cases), or; family court cases have… Continue Reading

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

Telephone Travesty; Rule 1930.3

Posted in Practice Issues

Just over 20 years ago the Pennsylvania Supreme Court embarked on an experiment when it passed a rule of civil procedure permitting trial courts to allow testimony by telephone audiovisual or other electronic means “with court approval.” The rule really came out of nowhere. Often there is a movement by the bar for a rule… Continue Reading

A Wiretap Update With A Cellular Twist

Posted in Practice Issues

This is not a criminal law blog. But domestic clients sometimes trip over the criminal law “wire” while trying to do seemingly innocent things for “good purpose.”  A classic example is the business of recording a spouse, a child or some other individual to prove “what really happened” at a particular time and place. Advances… Continue Reading

Discovery Master Programs Increase to Handle Volume of E-Discovery

Posted in Evidence, Practice Issues

In nearly every facet of litigation, the issue of electronic discovery and how to manage its production and review is becoming an important issue. This is no different in family law cases. Increasingly, individuals, businesses, and financial institutions are producing discovery via PDFs, hyperlinks to shared databases, and hard drives or cloud access.  The collection… Continue Reading

Superior Court Rules Against TV Personality & Affirms Reproductive Contracts

Posted in Custody, Practice Issues

My partner in Philadelphia, Julia Swain, recently published an article in the Philadelphia Bar Association Reporter (Page 15) addressing the case of television personality Sherri Shepherd and her attempts to invalidate a surrogacy contract between her, her husband, and their gestational carrier. This was a case of first impression for Pennsylvania courts, pitting Shepherd’s estranged husband, Lamar… Continue Reading

ADDING THE GEOLOGIST TO THE LAWYER’S LIST OF EXPERTS

Posted in Practice Issues

Twice a year, lawyers in Pennsylvania who specialize in family law convene to discuss developments in their field. At this year’s first meeting, just concluded in Lancaster, the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association heard from three experts concerning energy law and its impact on real estate. Roughly a decade ago, hydraulic fracking… 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