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

Category Archives: Practice Issues

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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 This case is a non-precedential opinion, meaning it cannot be cited as establishing law on the issue, but it is emblematic of the risk one runs if you do not follow the rules.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

HOW BOILERPLATE CAN ‘BOIL OVER’

Posted in Practice Issues

Most domestic relations practitioners have fairly standard agreement clauses which they are comfortable with and use day in and day out in the preparation of property settlement agreements. We have recently encountered two seemingly innocuous “boilerplate” clauses that can come back to bite if the document draftsperson does not consider all of what has transpired… Continue Reading

NFL Player’s Trouble Demonstrates that “Family Law” Means More than Just Divorce

Posted in Practice Issues, Protection from Abuse

The stereotype of a family law attorney is that they deal in divorces or are limited to issues between spouses. The reality is that the practice can be far reaching in scope and encompass estate planning issues, business interests, and matters that extend beyond ex-spouses, but that deal with many aspects of a client’s life.  A… Continue Reading

WHAT DO I NEED TO PLAN FOR RETIREMENT ?

Posted in Practice Issues

This question is one that financial planners want us to focus upon every day in their quest to increase our savings rates and their assets under management.  We have previously reported on this subject in earlier blogs but one of the leading retirement savings managers, Fidelity Investments, published its findings on this subject last month…. Continue Reading