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Philadelphia Family Law Blog

PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE RECOGNIZES COLLABORATIVE LAW

In keeping with other States, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by the stroke of Governor Tom Wolf’s pen, signed into law the Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act, on June 28, 2018. This action by the Governor served to recognize the validity of this alternative divorce process. Collaborative Law is an alternative to both a Mediation process and …

HIGH INCOME CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT SPEAKS OUT

In high income child support cases (high income is defined by law as cases in which the net incomes of the parties combined exceeds $30,000.00 per month), in order to avoid unduly large support results, the Trial Court must consider the “reasonable needs” of the child or children. This ruling resulted in the case Hanrahan …

CUSTODY LAW UPDATE

***CUSTODY LAW UPDATE*** Effective July 4, 2018, there has been a major change in the Child Custody Law in Pennsylvania. Before that date, it was difficult for people who were not parents, step-parents or grandparents to obtain custody rights. That will all change. Effective that date, ANY individual who can establish that they: Have assumed; …

CONTEMPT OF SUPPORT ORDERS: AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS

Support Contempt actions are instituted once a Payor, for what can be a multitude of reasons, falls behind or fails to pay his or her Support obligation through the statewide PACSES system or through some other Agreement entered into between parties to a support or alimony action. Punishment mechanisms are statutorily in place if necessary …

SUPPORT: CHILD, SPOUSAL, ALIMONY PENDENTE LITE (“APL”) AND ALIMONY

If you have a minor child and you aren’t living with that child’s other parent, you are likely either paying or receiving child support or will be at some point in time while the child is under 18 years of age. This Newsletter is a very basic introduction to the various types of “Support” in …

ACHIEVING YOUR CUSTODY GOALS: FIVE IMPORTANT TIPS

Achieving your Custody goals, in some cases, is not a process that ends at your first scheduled Custody Conference or Hearing. Many times, it is a process. Persistence, good behavior and compliance oftentimes are the keys to a party enjoying fulfilling Custody time with their children or grandchildren. Unfortunately, the process can be lengthily and …

WIRETAP VIOLATIONS AND CUSTODY

I have written previously about parties secretly recording conversations with third parties, with the mistaken belief these recordings may be used in Court in Custody or other legal proceeding. I have strongly urged you not to do so, as such recordings most likely will be in violation of Wiretap laws. With the advent of the …

EARNING CAPACITY IN SUPPORT MATTERS

Let’s start with the premise that Pennsylvania is an Earning Capacity state. What is earning capacity and how can it impact your Support Order? First, a person cannot intentionally decrease their income, with the hope that this intentional decrease will result in a lower support Order. Let’s take the case of a fictional couple, Donnie …

FLAT FEE OR HOURLY BILLING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR ME?

Traditionally, Family Lawyers bill their clients one way…hourly.  However, there is an alternative. That alternative is Flat Fee Lawyering. Clearly, however, not every case is right for Hourly Lawyering and not every case is right for Flat Fee Lawyering. We, at SchwartzJordan, offer both options. You choose which method is right for you, up front, …

The Problems with Joint Legal Custody: When Household Rules Differ

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