Civil Procedure Family Law

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A Stepparent Was Ordered to Pay Child Support in Pennsylvania Custody Order?

Did you know that a stepparent can be ordered to pay child support of his or her stepchildren in Pennsylvania? In a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court case, just that happened – a stepparent was found to have a duty to support...more

Achieving Workable – and Just – ADR Results in Family Law

Mediation, the ADR vehicle most commonly used in family law cases, frequently results in a final settlement – but often only after a marathon session dealing with the many important issues in the lives of family members....more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Denies Father's Petition To Change His Son's Last Name To Match His Own

In a November 2015 binding opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court entered an order denying father's request to change his three year old son's last name to match his own. The Superior Court also denied father's alternative...more

Reconciliation Does Not Void Prior Marital Settlement Agreement

In an August 31, 2015, Non-precedential Opinion, Semulka v. Semulka, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the parties' reconciliation did not void a previously executed divorce settlement agreement. Since the agreement...more

Court Permits Mother To Relocate With The Child More Than Five Hours Away

In September 2015, in a Non-precedential Decision, K.A.N. v. J.A.N., the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a trial court's decision to permit mother's relocation with the child from Pennsylvania to Virginia. The relocation...more

New Law Resolves Jurisdiction Issues for Conservators

We live in a mobile society, and conservatees are no exception. For example, an elder may have multiple residences, living in an out-of-state vacation home part of the year or moving among family members in various states. Or...more

The challenge of maintaining the privacy of a non-testamentary discretionary trust with multiple permissible beneficiaries

Assume X is an innocent discretionary beneficiary of an irrevocable non-testamentary trust with multiple permissible beneficiaries (the “trust”). Y is a not-so-innocent co-beneficiary, that is to say he has not been paying...more

Before Signing Anything on Behalf of Someone Else, Talk to Your Special Needs Planner

People lack the ability to sign documents for various reasons. In some cases, a person has suffered from a disability since birth and has never had the mental capacity to make decisions for himself. In other cases, an injury...more

A New Challenge to Anti-Nepotism Rules Based on Marital Status Discrimination

In a newly filed lawsuit that has garnered some publicity, a Shelton high school teacher is suing the Shelton Public Schools over the imposition of an anti-nepotism rule which she claims constitutes marital status...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: Released after 11:30 a.m. AC36320 - Valencis v. Nyberg - This decision upheld the granting of a PJR for ~ $1.5 million in favor of the plaintiff property owner when the...more

Surrogacy Contracts are Alive and Well in Pennsylvania

In today’s modern world of technology, how babies are created is greatly different than in the yesterdays of our parents’ world. Today, there are sperm donors, egg donors, gestational carriers, in vitro fertilization, to...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19165 - Dept. of Transportation v. White Oak Corp. - SC19165 Dissent - Dept. of Transportation v. White Oak Corp. Despite a very convoluted history, the essence of...more

Choosing Sides in a Divorce: Does it Apply to Employers Too? NJ Supreme Court Weighing Contours of “Marital Status” Discrimination

In a case reminiscent of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Cheryl leaves Larry, forcing their friends to choose post-split allegiances (to Larry’s dismay, Ted Danson, the Funkhousers (Super Dave Osborne and Blossom) and...more

SCOVA Watch: Does Virginia’s spousal support termination statute encompass cohabitation of same-sex couples?

On November 10, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia granted an appeal in Luttrell v. Cucco, Record No. 150770. Although the granting of the case did not make the news (they rarely do!), this case has the potential to be a...more

What to Do About Property Left Out of the Divorce Agreement

The parties thought they had covered everything (or maybe one party was being sneaky), but it turns out that some property was left out of the divorce proceedings and thus never made it into the judgment. Here’s how to deal...more

When Same-Sex Marriage Ends, Ex-Spouse May Have Custody Rights

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v Hodges, in which it ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36382, AC36387 - Hilton v. Commissioner of Correction - AC36922 - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak - This was Round Three of a case previously reported on. An...more

Modifiability of Written Child Support Agreement

When parties are divorced, they often detail the economic terms in a written agreement called a marital settlement agreement or a postnuptial agreement. These marital settlement agreement may contain a provision regarding...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2015

November Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The November § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...more

Enforcing a Judgment That’s Expired? You May Still Be in Luck

You can only enforce a judgment in the window between its effective date (with no stays in effect) and the date the judgment or renewal of the judgment expires. The key to getting more time is all in the expiration date....more

This N.C. Case Cries For Comment

A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals State v. Matsoake started me to think about what constitutes a communication.  The case involved whether an ex-wife’s testimony about seeing her husband crying should have been...more

Implied Threat on Facebook Insufficient to Support Stalking Conviction

Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a Facebook profile may constitute a “threat” within the meaning of the Massachusetts stalking statute. However, a profile that is merely “vaguely ominous or...more

Client Alert on Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan rules on issues related to mortgaging marital property

On 15 July 2015 the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan issued a ruling in the case of Mammadova et al. vs. Bank Technique, a case where the claimants requested the court to partially invalidate a mortgage agreement over...more

Facebook Cited in One Third of Divorce Cases

A major UK newspaper recently reported that Facebook is cited in one third of divorce filings. Facebook and other social media provide a treasure trove of information, from geo-tagging locations to proving connections between...more

Divorce and the Common Interest Privilege

Privilege is one of the most important legal concepts that an attorney can be versed in. Inadvertently waiving the attorney/client privilege or the psychotherapist/patient privilege, for example, can have dire consequences...more

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