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

Category Archives: Practice Issues

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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

SUPERIOR COURT AFFIRMS ‘TENANTS BY ENTIRETY’ AGAINST INDIVIDUAL JUDGMENTS

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

Wendy Rothstein is a litigation partner in our Blue Bell office and she writes for our Pennsylvania Trial Practice Blog. Recently, Wendy highlighted a case in which the Superior Court declined to consolidate two individual judgments against a husband and wife. The bank wanted to seek the attachment of their house which is titled as… Continue Reading

NO EMAIL – IS YOUR LAWYER OLD SCHOOL OR IRRESPONSIBLE

Posted in Adoption, Alimony, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Prenuptial Agreements, Protection from Abuse, Same Sex Marriage, Support

A South Carolina attorney was recently disciplined for failing to have an active email address. Despite characterizing herself as “retired” and not having a client in thirty years, the South Carolina Disciplinary Board still found that she “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public and to the administration of justice” for repeatedly… Continue Reading

Am I on Speaker? PA Supreme Court to Decide Whether Wiretapping Act Applies

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

(Image Credit: technodiaries.org) The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently accepted the case of Commonwealth vs. Spence, on appeal from the Superior Court.  This criminal case involves the issue of whether eavesdropping on a speaker-phone telephone call constitutes a violation of Pennsylvania’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act.  The outcome of this case will have a significant… Continue Reading

Temporary PFA Orders Require Ex Parte Hearings

Posted in Practice Issues, Protection from Abuse

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently rendered an Opinion in the case of Ferko-Fox v. Fox, 2013 Pa.Super 1888. This Opinion is important from the standpoint that it affirms the requirement listed under 23 Pa.C.S.A. §6107(b)(1) that a Protections From Abuse petition requires an ex parte hearing to determine if there is immediate and present danger requiring… Continue Reading

INTERSTATE DISCOVERY JUST GOT EASIER (MAYBE)

Posted in Practice Issues

 We live in an age when both people and transactions cross state borders more and more often. Evidence concerning what occurred in Pennsylvania is often located outside of the four corners of the Commonwealth and thus, beyond the subpoena power of Pennsylvania Courts.  This is true for all forms of litigation, not just family law…. Continue Reading

New Rule Makes for Easier Evidence

Posted in Practice Issues, Support

Normal 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} (Photo by Indi Samarajiva)   The Pennsylvania Support Rules were recently amended on December 30, 2012.  Rule 1910.29, formalizes the presentation of support evidence for… Continue Reading