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The Postnuptial Agreement: Your Marriage’s New Best Friend

Posted in: General, Premarital & Cohabitation Agreements

A postnuptial agreement is simply a contract between two people who are married. The parties may be heterosexual or same-sex spouses and the agreement may include just about any terms, with a few exceptions, that a couple may desire. While ...

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Love Contracts: Can They Make Relationships Last?

Posted in: General, Premarital & Cohabitation Agreements

What It Is and How It Work A “love contract” is an agreement you make with someone you love to help keep your relationship a loving one. It appeals to those couples who refuse to leave some aspects of their ...

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A Cohabitation Agreement – It Just Makes Sense

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships, Premarital & Cohabitation Agreements, Property Division

More and more couples are choosing to live together, but are choosing not to get married. Whether they do so for religious, ethical, moral or legal reasons, their rights can be affected by their decision not to marry. The Marriage ...

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Stepparent Rights in PA

Posted in: General

When you marry someone who has a biological or adoptive child from a previous relationship, you become a stepparent of that child. This is not a legal parental relationship, however. In order to become a legal parent of your spouse’s ...

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Divorcing Men: Don’t Leave the Family Home

Posted in: Divorce, Featured Articles, Property Division

Divorce is an emotional event. It is not uncommon for decisions to be made in haste, anger and sadness. Very often, though, the decisions made in the midst of the haste and anger can significantly affect how a divorce will ...

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Child Custody for Fathers in PA: Improve Your Chances

Posted in: Custody & Visitation

In 2011 Pennsylvania amended the legal standard for awarding child custody by establishing 15 standards [1] on which the deciding court must base a custody decision. By showing the court a pattern of parenting behavior that meets the standards in the custody ...

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Taxes on Alimony: Who Pays Them?

Posted in: Alimony

Taxes on Alimony: Who Pays Them? Your divorce is final and you are now receiving alimony from, or paying alimony to, your ex-spouse. But wait — what about the taxes? What will you owe the next time you file your ...

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Child Support Orders When Parents Move to Different States

Posted in: General, Spousal & Child Support

How Child Support Works in Pennsylvania Child support is given high priority in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. When one or both parents move from the state in which an initial child support order was entered, the order may still be ...

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Prenuptial Agreements: Why Women Need Them

Posted in: General, Premarital & Cohabitation Agreements

A prenup (also known as a prenuptial, premarital, or antenuptial agreement) is an agreement between two people who are planning to marry. When most of us hear the word “prenup,” we envision a well-to-do man presenting his less wealthy and ...

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PA Custody Arrangement – Child Relocation Rules

Posted in: Custody & Visitation, Divorce, General

Parents with custody of minor children often feel the need or desire to move with their children to another location at some point after a divorce. Whether you are the parent who is about to be left behind or the ...

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Baby-boomer Divorce – Don’t Lose Everything You’ve Worked For

Posted in: Divorce, Property Division, Senior Divorce

When you get divorced at a young age, you have years ahead of you in which to adjust. You might go back to school and launch a second career, or remarry and start a new family. But, when you divorce ...

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Same-sex Divorce Is a Bumpy Road

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships, Divorce

The Divorce Process For same-sex divorcing couples, the process required to initiate and complete the divorce is, technically speaking, the same as it is for heterosexual couples. But, in practice, there are significant differences.Though the specifics vary from state to state, ...

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Property Division In Divorce: How Business Interests Are Treated

Posted in: Divorce, Property Division, Senior Divorce

When you divorce, your marital property is subject to equitable distribution. If you own all or part of a business and your business interest is characterized as marital property, the court may divide that interest between you and your spouse. ...

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Child Custody in PA: Answers to Your Questions

Posted in: Custody & Visitation, Divorce, General

Pennsylvania’s Child Custody law applies to married parents, married but separated parents, and parents who have never been married. The laws may also apply to biological and non-biological parents. For purposes of this blog article, individuals seeking or granted Child ...

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Premarital Agreements for PA Business Owners

Posted in: Premarital & Cohabitation Agreements, Property Division

When business-owners marry, they often neglect to take one of the easiest and most cost-effective steps toward protecting their business interests from the ravages of an unforeseen divorce.  Without a precisely drawn premarital agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement), ...

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PA Child Support – Your Questions Answered

Posted in: General, Spousal & Child Support

For a divorcing couple with children in Pennsylvania, there are many critical child support questions that need to be answered and understood before there can be any kind of permanent resolution to the financial aspects of how their children will be ...

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Alimony in Pennsylvania: More Women Are Paying It

Posted in: Alimony, Divorce, Featured Articles

Alimony was traditionally paid by a man to his ex-wife after the couple divorced. But the world was somewhat different way back when. Today, more women are working (even after having children) and many are out-earning their husbands. As a ...

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Child Custody and Support for Same-sex Couples

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships, Custody & Visitation, General, Spousal & Child Support

As a same-sex partner, you may file a petition for either child custody or child support even if you are not filing for divorce. You may also do so if you are unmarried, as long as you can establish that ...

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Unmarried Couples Buying a Home: Who Should Be the Owner?

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships, General, Property Division

For many Americans, purchasing a home will be the largest financial investment of their lives.  And while there is always stress involved in such a substantial purchase, the stress is eased to some degree for married couples by the fact ...

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Permanent Residency for Gay Marriage Partner

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships, Custody & Visitation, Divorce

Until recently, an individual’s ability to seek citizenship in the United States through a citizen partner has been clear: unless a marriage is deemed valid, the federal government will not grant legal resident status.  Traditionally, the federal government has looked ...

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Child Support Orders: Change In Circumstances

Posted in: Divorce, Spousal & Child Support

What Qualifies as a Change in Circumstances? Before an order of child support can be entered, a court must determine the amount of support appropriate for a particular child and which parent should pay a portion of that amount to ...

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Custody Orders and Bad Parental Behavior

Posted in: Custody & Visitation, General, Spousal & Child Support

  One of the mistakes many divorced parents of minor children make is assuming the custody order entered in the course of their divorce will remain in effect until the child reaches the age of majority. As a result, they ...

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The Challenges of Civil Union Dissolution

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships, General

Four states (Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey) currently grant civil unions. Though the precise definition may vary from state to state, a civil union is generally defined as a legal relationship between two persons of the same sex that ...

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Definition of a Dependent Child as Specified in PA Statute 42

Posted in: Custody & Visitation, General, Grandparent Visitation

Pennsylvania Statute 42, as it relates to juvenile matters, defines a "dependent child" as a child who: (1)  is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, ...

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Emancipation of a Minor: Everything You Need to Know

Posted in: Custody & Visitation, General, Spousal & Child Support

What Is an Emancipated Minor? Emancipation typically occurs when a minor reaches the age of majority, which in Pennsylvania is 18, and is then independent of his or her parents. Emancipation can also occur before a minor reaches the age of ...

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Awarding Child Custody in PA: Standards Used by the Court

Posted in: Custody & Visitation, General

Pennsylvania’s Child Custody law applies to married parents, married but separated parents, and parents who have never been married. The law may also apply to biological and non-biological parents. In 2011 Pennsylvania amended the legal standard for awarding child custody ...

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Same-Sex Custody Disputes: How to Protect the Children

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships, Custody & Visitation, Premarital & Cohabitation Agreements

On May 27, 2013, in Middletown, Pennsylvania, Dr. Lauren Daly was arrested for shooting her former partner in the heat of a custody dispute over one of their children.  Dr. Daly and her partner have shared custody of their 11-year-old son ...

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PA Supreme Court Abolishes Parenting Coordinators: What Happens Next?

Posted in: Custody & Visitation, Divorce

Until recently, separated and divorced parents in Pennsylvania could rely on a new, popular program to help facilitate joint custody arrangements.  Until the change this past April, Pennsylvania was one of an increasing number of states to permit its courts ...

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Child Custody Rights of Single Parents in PA

Posted in: Custody & Visitation

Whether through divorce, by the conclusion of a relationship that bore children but no marriage, or by any other reason that you may end up a single parent, facing custody concerns can be daunting.  To say that significant issues could ...

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The DOMA Decision: What It Means for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court (in U.S. v. Windsor) held section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. What does this mean for legally married same-sex couples? The answer may depend upon a ...

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The DOMA Decision: What It Means for Federal Employees and Their Same-sex Spouses

Posted in: Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships

Even for federal employees, there is no currently available definitive answer regarding which rights legally married same-sex couples will now be entitled to in non-recognition states. The following is a list of some of the rights that will now be available ...

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Divorce Tip for Women: Get Your Financial Documents in Order!

Posted in: Divorce, Property Division

You’ve Got to Know What You’ve Got to Get What You Deserve Whether you are contemplating divorce or in the midst of one, when it comes to claiming what is rightfully yours financially, you must look out for yourself from ...

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Spousal Support in PA: Your Questions Are Answered!

Posted in: Alimony, Spousal & Child Support

There are three basic types of support that may be payable to a spouse or ex-spouse in Pennsylvania:  (1) Spousal Support, (2) Alimony, and (3) Alimony Pendente Lite. Each type has a very specific definition and each is available under ...

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Alimony in PA: Your Questions Are Answered

Posted in: Alimony, Spousal & Child Support

What Is Post-divorce Alimony? Alimony, as it is defined under Pennsylvania law, is what most people think of when they hear the terms “alimony” or “spousal support.” This is support provided by one ex-spouse to the other after a divorce ...

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Divorce Mediation or Litigation – How to Choose

Posted in: Divorce

Divorce is not a single event.  It’s a process that begins when a couple makes the decision to separate, and can last for years.  Divorce can be costly, but the price is not limited to the expenditure of time and ...

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Selling the House Before or After Divorce?

Posted in: Divorce, Property Division

Your house could be the most valuable asset (and your mortgage, the largest debt) you and your spouse have to deal with during your divorce. Selling the house is a trying experience in the best of times. During a divorce, ...

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Is Permanent Alimony: Is It On Its Way Out?

Posted in: Alimony, Divorce

“Permanent” or “lifetime” alimony can be a daunting, financially devastating concept to those who are obligated to pay it. But for many of those who receive it, it can be a lifesaver. Alimony is court-ordered support paid by one spouse ...

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Private Adoptions in Pennsylvania: Exploring the Process

Posted in: Adoption

The basic legal process of adoption involves terminating the parental rights of the birth parents and giving new parental rights to the adoptive parents. There are many factors that can impact and complicate the process. Things like location, timing, and ...

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Grandparent Visitation Rights: How It Works

Posted in: Grandparent Visitation

With increases in life expectancy, older Americans are often able to enjoy playing a role in the lives of their grandchildren. In the event that a grandparent is unable to agree on a visitation arrangement with the parent(s) of the ...

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Who Gets the Pet in a Divorce?

Posted in: Property Division

With approximately 124 million dogs and cats living in U.S. households and countless other animals treated as members of their owner family, it is no surprise that the question of who gets the pet in a divorce is becoming more common ...

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Does the Primary Caretaker Get Custody Preference in PA Courts? Not Any More!

Posted in: Custody & Visitation

Who gets custody of the children after a marriage ends may be one of the most complicated issues a divorcing couple has to face. Not so very long ago, the parent who spent the most time caring for a child ...

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Protection from Abuse Order: What It Is and How It Works

Posted in: Spousal Abuse

While many courts may regularly issue several different types of restraining orders, the most commonly known category of restraining orders arises in the context of abuse occurring in a household or domestic situation. In Pennsylvania, tens of thousands of domestic ...

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The Use and Misuse of Protection from Abuse Orders

Posted in: Spousal Abuse

Restraining orders serve the necessary and important interest of protecting victims of domestic violence, but, in the context of divorce and separation proceedings, they have increasingly been misused for the purpose of throwing a soon-to-be ex-spouse or partner off-balance while ...

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Equitable Property Distribution in Pennsylvania Divorce: What You Need to Know

Posted in: Property Division

When a marriage ends in divorce, the courts are often called upon to make sure that the property or wealth obtained during the marriage is divided up in a way that is fair to both parties. Equitable property distribution is the ...

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Counsel Fee Awards: Why You Might Need One and How to Get It

Posted in: Counsel Fee Awards

Counsel fees, also known as legal fees or lawyer fees, can build up considerably during the course of a lawsuit. Often, the parties on each side of a dispute are not on equal financial grounds. These kind of financial imbalances ...

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The Friendly Divorce: You Don’t Need a Lawyer—Or Do You?

Posted in: Divorce

The scenario happens every day. You and your spouse are no longer working as a couple. Perhaps the kids are grown and out of the house and you both have developed separate interests. Perhaps you married too young and you ...

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Protecting Your Child from International Parental Abduction

Posted in: Custody & Visitation

There are some things we do not want to think about when we should: pre-nuptial agreements when we have just become engaged; purchasing cemetery plots when we are alive and well; or that our marriage may one day end in ...

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Child Testimony in Pennsylvania Custody Cases

Posted in: Custody & Visitation

A child custody proceeding can take many forms, and it can happen for a number of reasons. Although the most common reasons include divorce and separation, a custody proceeding can also follow paternity questions, abuse or neglect allegations, deaths of ...

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Posting to Facebook During A Divorce

Posted in: Divorce

Posting to Facebook during a divorce may be one of the biggest mistakes a party to a divorce proceeding can make. Divorce attorneys love Facebook, and this is particularly so in Pennsylvania, where courts have repeatedly ordered access to a party’s account ...

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The Premarital Agreement: The Wedding Gift You Should Give Yourself

Posted in: Premarital & Cohabitation Agreements

You’re engaged, in love, and planning a wedding with your beloved. This isn't the right time to discuss something as unpleasant as what will happen to all your pre-marriage possessions, debts, gifts, etc. if you divorce, or one of you dies, ...

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