Family Law Civil Remedies

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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

Domestic Violence and Divorce

Thanks to the NFL these past few weeks, domestic violence has gained national attention and even received a comment from the President of the United States. However, domestic violence (“DV”) is bigger than most American’s...more

Protective Orders in Virginia

As I am writing this article, it is the day after the first week of NFL football games. The sole topic on the cover of sports websites, discussed on sports radio shows and covered on ESPN and other sports channels is the...more

Supreme Court Passively Clears the Way for Same-Sex Marriage

On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review all seven same-sex marriage cases with petitions for certiorari pending before it. The Court’s refusal to hear the appeals means that the lower...more

Creditors Beware: Married Couples Claiming Homestead Protection on Two Residences May Avoid a Forced Sale

Florida’s homestead exemption protects a married couple’s primary residence from forced sale to satisfy a judgment lien, but what happens when spouses retain two properties as their individual primary residences, claiming...more

Abuse of an Animal is Domestic Violence

Many people know that a few months ago, my husband and I lost our thirteen year old Dachshund, Bagels. While Bagels had been ill, there were no signs that her condition was worsening, so we were shocked by her sudden death. ...more

The Perpetrator’s Fame Makes Domestic Violence More Visible

Everybody is talking about the Ray Rice domestic violence act caught on tape. The incident is violent, painful to watch. It is unfortunate that we must bear witness to a violent event to raise the awareness about domestic...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

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

Can I Remove My Spouse From Our Home During the Divorce Litigation?

We know how difficult it is to remain under the same roof with your spouse during a divorce. Generally, during an initial consultation, clients always ask us what is the quickest way to remove his/her spouse from the marital...more

NJ Alimony Bill Making Major Changes in System

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation that would drastically change alimony awards in future divorce cases and is currently awaiting a signature by Governor Christie. The bill,...more

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...more

Appellate Court Reverses Retroactive Amicus Attorney Appointment

In a suit to modify the parent-child relationship, the Eleventh Court of Appeals has reversed a final order that significantly restricted a mother’s access to her children, thereby allowing the mother to pursue a new trial....more

Technical Rejection of Fee Claim Is Overruled By Court of Appeal

In Marriage of Sharples, 2014 DJDAR 823 (2014), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District overturned the outright rejection of a request for fees by the trial court. The judge rejected the fee claim on...more

Forced Sex During Marriage Can Lead to a Protection From Abuse Order

Did you know that a spouse can get a protection from abuse order against the other for forced sex? That is what happened in the recent case of Boykai v. Young, 2004 Pa. Super. 4 (January 7, 2014). In Pennsylvania, the...more

Could it be that the Uniform Trust Code would effectively immunize the trustee of a revocable inter vivos trust from liability for...

Section 603 of the Uniform Trust Code provides that while a trust is revocable and the settlor has capacity to revoke the trust, rights of the beneficiaries, such as the equitable remaindermen, are subject to the control of,...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Custody Evaluator's Fees Not Court Costs Under Dismissal Statutes

On Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its decision in In re Marriage of Tiballi, answering a question of potential importance to domestic relations practitioners: are the fees of a court-appointed psychologist...more

Spendthrift & Discretionary Trusts in Florida: Further Analysis of Berlinger v. Casselberry

In Berlinger v. Casselberry, Case No. 2D12-6470, 6 (Fla. 2d DCA Nov. 27, 2013), the Florida Second District Court of Appeal upheld a writ of garnishment issued by a trial court against the trustee of a discretionary trust...more

Sanctions for Retaining Non Admitted Co Counsel Are Not Proper

In Marriage of Bianco, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District overturned a sanctions award of attorney fees. The award was rendered in a family law dispute....more

The constructive general inter vivos power of appointment: A trap for the unwary trustee and his counsel

The constructive general inter vivos power of appointment is the product of the marriage of power of appointment doctrine and creditors’ rights doctrine. It is a topic that is taken up in §4.1.3 of Loring and Rounds: A...more

The Uniform Trust Code’s stealth attack on the Trustee’s time-honored duty to defend his trust

One of the critical duties of a trustee traditionally has been to defend his trust against internal attacks. By that I mean to defend the trust against those who, in contravention of the settlor’s intentions as expressed in...more

A Sense of Security with Orders of Protection in Arizona

Going through a divorce or a dispute in your personal life can be stressful, especially if you fear the safety of yourself and loved ones. Orders of protection are one way you can protect you and your family if you feel...more

Illinois Supreme Court Reaffirms Disgorgement of Advance Payment Retainers Under the Dissolution of Marriage Act

This morning, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court strongly reaffirmed the "leveling the playing field" rules of the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act in In re Marriage of Earlywine. The Act provides that a court can...more

Discerning the true settlor of a trust

The person designated in the terms of a trust as its settlor (creator) may not necessarily be its true settlor (creator). Appearances are often deceiving in the world of the trust. Charles E. Rounds, Jr. explains in §8.43 of...more

Children as Witnesses in a Domestic Violence Dispute

In M.J.T. v. A.V.B., the New Jersey Appellate Division overturned the trial court’s entry of a Final Restraining Order (“FRO”) against the defendant. The only witness to the alleged incident of domestic violence was the...more

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