Civil Procedure Family Law

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Now That Same-Sex Marriage is a Constitutional Right, How Do Employers Administer FMLA Leave?

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued a final rule allowing an otherwise eligible employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognized...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Bankruptcy Court Finds Debt To Third Party To Be A Non-Dischargable Debt Incurred In Connection With a Divorce

Bankruptcy Judge Albert Dabrowski was faced with a unique set of circumstances arising as a result of the intersection of a state court divorce action and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. In the matter of Corrine Sawyer v. Scott...more

Is Your Spouse Underemployed (Not Unemployed, but Underemployed)?

He’s making a living, working 9 to 5, but now his wife believes he could be making more. He’s a smart man, with a Master’s degree, and 18 years of experience in his field. However, he earns under $75,000 a year, and with the...more

Is There a Presumption in Favor of Equal Parenting Time?

While there is no formal ‘presumption’ of equal parenting time, the policy of the State of Arizona is clear. The policy is to ensure “substantial, frequent, meaningful and continuing parenting time with both...more

Grandparent Custody Rights in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, grandparents and great-grandparents have physical custody rights surrounding their grandchildren. In rare circumstances, grandparents can request and win primary physical custody of their grandchildren. ...more

Worldwide Bound: the Hague Service Convention in International Family Law Cases

As a family lawyer in Silicon Valley, I often work with clients with international issues: enforcing judgments in Europe, dividing property abroad or obtaining custody orders when the parents live on different continents. A...more

Court Warns That Marriage Does Not Render A Spouse Automatically Entitled To Preexisting Life Insurance Policies

In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life insurance policies. See Fox v. Lincoln...more

FMLA’s New Definition of “Spouse” Halted in Four States

The Department of Labor’s revised definition of “spouse” under the FMLA was recently struck down in Texas. On March 26, 2015, in Texas v. United States, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas...more

Pennsylvania Law Re: Execution Against Entireties Property – Not Entirely Obvious

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one of many jurisdictions in the United States that recognizes a concept known as or similar to “tenancy by the entireties.” This refers to a form of property ownership unique to married...more

Same-Sex Marriage Bans As Sex Discrimination: The Potential Impact On Plan Sponsors And Employers

In last week’s oral argument on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, Chief Justice Roberts asked the following question: Counsel, I’m not sure it’s necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve the...more

Florida Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages, At Least When the Time Comes for Divorce

A same-sex couple were married in Massachusetts in October 2012. They later moved to Florida, and one of the spouses filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in Florida, even though Florida does not recognize same-sex...more

New Rules Bring New Requirements in the Fifth DCA

If you are a registered filer with e-DCA, you may have received this notice from the Fifth DCA last week. Because of changes to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, attorneys are now required to notify the appellate...more

Bankruptcy Beat: A Post-Divorce Judgment Stipulation That Modifies Obligations to a Former Spouse Does Not Likewise Modify The...

On March 3, 2015, the Honorable Albert S. Dabrowski issued a decision in Swiatowiec v. Swiatowiec (In re Swiatowiec), Adv. Pro. No. 11-2074, concerning the issue of whether obligations to a former spouse incurred in the...more

New DOL Rule Redefining “Spouse” Temporarily Placed on Hold

A new Department of Labor rule defining “spouse” for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) was to take effect March 27, 2015, but on March 26, a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction staying...more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC36342 - Budrawich v. Budrawich Post-dissolution motion to modify child support denial was upheld by the Appellate Court due to lack of substantial change in circumstances, when ex-husband’s increased income was not...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC19245 - Nation-Bailey v. Bailey - SC19245 Concurrence - Nation-Bailey v. Bailey Holding that a separation agreement that requires the payment of unallocated alimony and child support ‘‘until the …. [w]ife’s...more

Divorce Papers Served by Facebook: Cold or Practical?

Calling social media “the next frontier in the developing law of the service of process over the internet,” a New York judge has allowed service of divorce papers via Facebook private messaging. This is either a cold invasion...more

New York court permits plaintiff to serve divorce summons through Facebook message

The Manhattan Supreme Court recently permitted the plaintiff in divorce proceedings to serve the divorce summons to her husband through a private Facebook message. Justice Matthew Cooper acknowledged that the plaintiff’s...more

Establishing Paternity in New Jersey: Why It’s Legally Significant

Many people believe that when a man’s name is indicated on a child’s birth certificate, that name is enough to establish paternity. However, that is not necessarily the case, particularly since the mother can list anyone she...more

Divorce Papers Served Via Facebook

Hi there, The internet is abuzz with news that a woman successfully served her soon-to-be-ex husband divorce papers via Facebook. “Service of process,” also known as “serving divorce papers,” is one of those...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Property Dispute Between Former Same-Sex Domestic Partners

In Hewitt v. Hewitt in 1979, the Illinois Supreme Court decided that for public policy reasons, Illinois courts cannot decide property disputes between unmarried couples. In the closing days of the March term, the Court...more

Divorce By Social Media

This morning, I appeared on Fox29 in Philadelphia where I discussed and commented on a recent case out of Brooklyn, New York. In this matter, a divorcing party was granted permission to serve initial process by way of...more

State of Celebration Standard Now in Effect for FMLA

In a previous blog, I wrote about regulations issued by the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposing to revise the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to be based on the law of the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Doctrine of Equitable Adoption Doesn’t Apply to Parentage Proceedings

Two years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court recognized the doctrine of equitable adoption in the context of an estate proceeding. In In re Parentage of Scarlet Z.-D., the Court was presented with the question of whether the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Declines to Recognize Self-Critical Analysis Privilege

The self-critical analysis privilege – the notion that organizations should be able to take a candid look at their own procedures and performance without fear of being forced to disclose the results in discovery – has been...more

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