Family Law Updates

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Divorce, property settlements, and bankruptcy. Oh my!

There's nothing simple about divorce and bankruptcy. We'll peel off one leaf of that very large subject and see what can happen if someone files bankruptcy after a divorce with a property settlement....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

New Jersey Naming Law: Can I Name My Child Anything I Want?

The choice of what to name your child is often a process that parents take great care in selecting—conducting countless Internet searches, pouring over “baby name” books, and researching family histories to find the perfect...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

Recent Court Cases Highlight the Difficult Questions Related to Medically Assisted Procreation in France

Law No.2013-404 dated May 17, 2013, (the Law) allowed same-sex couples to get married and to adopt children, through either the mutual adoption of a child or the adoption of the same-sex spouse’s biological or adopted child....more

What NOT to Do in Court

I just left the Ventura County Courthouse where I sat and listened to people plead their case to the family law judge. Some made a pitch about why their child support should be reduced, using arguments not supported by any...more

What Is The Status Of Domestic Partnership Benefits On A Federal Level Post-Windsor?

Before the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) in United States v. Windsor, the federal definition of “marriage” was limited to that between a man and a woman. For that reason,...more

Requirements for Alimony – Can it be a good thing?

Divorce is messy, divorce is costly – and it should be avoided wherever possible. Spouses should always attempt to mitigate their losses and one way to do this is to consider designing the divorce settlement to include...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

Father’s Rights to Custody

Our attorneys believe in standing up for both mothers and fathers who are embattled in a litigated custody battle. We have vast experience helping parents understand New Jersey laws governing custody and how to effectively...more

If You Die Intestate (Without A Last Will And Testament), Will Your Same-Sex Spouse Be Considered A “Spouse” For Purposes Of...

Yes. One of the effects of the Whitewood decision is that same-sex spouses are considered a “spouse” for purposes of Pennsylvania’s intestate succession process. A person domiciled in Pennsylvania who dies without a will is...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

Child Custody: Do grandparents have rights to custody of their grandchildren in Pennsylvania?

In 2011, the law in Pennsylvania changed as to the rights of grandparents to have custody of the grandchildren. Grandparents have the right to file an action for ANY form of physical or legal of custody if the following...more

Does the recognition of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania have any effect on immigration visa petitions for Pennsylvania citizens?

Immigration visas, unlike marriage recognitions, are regulated by the federal government, not the individual states. This means that the Pennsylvania Whitewood decision, albeit groundbreaking on a state level, has no effect...more

Unintended consequences: After divorce, review your estate plan to avoid surprises

The recently divorced have likely had their fill of legal documents and proceedings, but it’s important that they review their estate plan as soon as possible to ensure they’re protected against unintended consequences. This...more

Are out-of-country same-sex marriages (e.g., Canada) now recognized in Pennsylvania?

Seventeen countries have legalized marriage for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand,...more

Innocent Spouse Relief Expanded

By filing a joint income tax return, spouses make themselves liable for all of the income tax due on their combined income. While filing a joint return can provide significant advantages, it also can create an unfair burden...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2014

In This Issue: - Unintended consequences: After divorce, review your estate plan to avoid surprises - Protecting your real estate assets - How will the GST tax affect your estate plan? - Estate...more

State Tax Implications of Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Rejecting Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

On Monday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated Virginia’s prohibition on same-sex marriages. Bostic v. Schaefer, Docket No. 14-1167 (4th Cir. July 28, 2014). The Fourth Circuit includes Virginia, Maryland,...more

California Legislative Update: July 2014

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. A brief summary of these new laws, along with links to the bills, can be found below....more

You’re Divorced. Now What?

In the divorce process, love is indeed a battlefield. But, at some point, that battlefield clears, usually when you and your soon-to-be former spouse finally sign on the dotted line, officially announcing yourselves as...more

SPECIAL BENEFITS: Employers can pay adoption expenses for their employees

Almost 40 years ago now, a young mother had the courage to give me up for adoption to my parents who could not themselves have children. All of my life, I have reaped the almost-unbelievable benefits of my biological mother’s...more

Communications Between Spouses: Are They Privileged When Wiretapped?

The New Jersey Supreme Court decided that a couple’s private communications remain protected under the marital communication privilege pursuant to N.J.R.E. 509 despite those communications being wiretapped by State...more

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