Civil Procedure Family Law

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Motorola: Inventor's Ex-Spouse's Co-Owns the Patent-in-Suit

In the matter pending in the Western District of Texas, Katrinecz, et al. v. Motorola Mobility LLC, Motorola moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In its complaint, the plaintiffs alleged...more

What is a Qualified Domestic Relation Order ("QDRO") and why does it matter in my divorce case?

As with all community property, retirement assets are subject to division upon dissolution. Therefore, that portion of any and all retirement assets accumulated during the course of the marriage must be divided....more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide How Social Security Benefits Offset in Divorce Settlement

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an issue of potential importance to the domestic relations bar: how are Social Security benefits treated in a property settlement during a...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Declines To Award Counsel Fees In Custody Case

In September 2, 2014, in Chen v. Saidi, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed a trial court's order relating to a nine year history of legal disputes between a mother and a father. The trial court awarded $5,000 in...more

Choosing Between an Annulment or Divorce Proceeding

Choosing to terminate a marriage through an annulment, (called a nullity proceeding in legal terminology), or through divorce (more formally, a dissolution proceeding), depends on an array of factors that must be carefully...more

Eighth Circuit Finds Guarantors Not Afforded Protections under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The application of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to spousal guaranties is a developing area of law, resulting in a number of recent appellate opinions. One opinion from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Hawkins...more

Will SCOTUS Review Same-Sex Marriage Now?

You may recall that in early October the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review decisions from U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth circuits* that struck down same-sex marriage bans....more

Sixth Circuit decision bucks trend on same-sex marriage

As you all know, the last several weeks and months have seen an unmistakable trend in federal court decisions paving the way for same-sex marriage in a majority of states. But just when it appeared that same-sex marriage...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on Halloween this year. A complete coincidence, but I do hope that nothing in this term’s opinions has scares you! This term resulted in two cases related to...more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

Nominating Non-Resident Guardians for Your Children in California

In the event that you and your spouse could no longer take care of your minor children, who is best suited to do the job? For many first-generation families living in the United States, the best guardian for their children...more

New York Family Court Magistrate Allows Unprecedented Service of Process via Facebook; Will Others Follow?

In a little-noticed decision, Matter of Noel v. Maria, Support Magistrate Gregory L. Gliedman—a Staten Island, New York family court official—recently permitted a father seeking to modify his child support payments to serve...more

I have texts and Facebook posts that prove my spouse is cheating. Does this get admitted in my divorce case?

In a previous blog we posted about a spouses cheating and whether it’s a crime to spy on them. Following up with that post: On many occasions clients have wanted to know if the texts they have or the emails or Facebook...more

7th Cir. Explains What Same-Sex Marriage and Voter ID Have in Common

What do cases involving challenges to same-sex-marriage and voter ID laws have in common? The answer, according to a per curiam opinion issued today by a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh...more

Appellate Court Notes

?AC35507 - State v. Wright - ?AC35289, AC36395 - Southport Congregational Church-United Church of Christ v. Hadley - The doctrine of equitable conversion did not apply when the decedent contracted to sell real...more

If I Was Married Out-Of-State Before Whitewood Legalized Same-Sex Marriage In Pennsylvania, When Is My Official “Date Of Change”...

It may be the case that, before your spouse can qualify under your employee benefit plan, your employer requires you to notify it of a change in marital status within a certain number of days after the marriage. It is always...more

Pro Se Litigants Afforded Same Rights as Those Represented by Counsel

And why shouldn’t they? The New Jersey Appellate Court determined that pros se litigants are entitled to the same rights and relief as those who are represented by counsel in Ridge at Back Brook, LLC v. Klenert. This decision...more

To Have and to Hold: Modern Family Formation and Application of Constitutional Principles

Recall the year 1868 and §1 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution: “All persons born and naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and...more

Can Grandma and Grandpa Get Custody In Pennsylvania?

We constantly receive calls from grandparents inquiring about their custody rights. In some instances, the grandparent has been the child’s primary caretaker from birth....more

Divorce from Bed and Board Prolongs Name Change Process

In Leggio v. Leggio, a New Jersey court determined that in a judgment of divorce from bed and board, a person seeking a name change must submit their application under the requirements of the general name change statute...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18942, SC18993, SC18994 - Perry v. Perry - Attorney appointed for a minor child cannot appeal the trial court’s award of only a portion of her fees w/o trial court permission. But that same attorney has personal...more

The Minefield of Appellate Practice: Notices of Appeal

The Illinois Appellate Court’s recent opinion in In re Marriage of Micheli, 2014 IL App (2d) 121245 (filed July 31, 2014), illustrates the necessity of retaining appellate specialists to handle all post-trial and appellate...more

NJ Judge Clarifies the Role of Power of Attorney in Divorce Proceedings

In a published decision, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Jones declared that a spouse involved in a divorce action must personally participate in the proceeding where the spouse is found to be mentally...more

Designating Your Same-Sex Spouse as the Sole Beneficiary in Your Will

Estate planning can be a very stressful time for all married couples, especially when children and other relatives need to be considered. However, under normal circumstances, one need not be overly concerned with the...more

Child Custody Transfers – When Does the Statutory Parental Presumption Apply?

Although this blog is usually devoted to new and interesting developments in the insurance coverage world, Gilbert LLP prides itself on its avid participation in providing pro bono legal services, including the area of family...more

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