We are proud to offer a selection of blogs covering different geographies and areas of the law. Please see below for a brief description of each, or jump to our recent posts.
New Jersey Family Law Blog
Fox Rothschild's New Jersey Family Legal Blog provides practical information and useful tips related to such topics as alimony, child support, custody, parenting time, divorce, equitable distribution, prenuptial agreements, domestic violence and grandparent visitation. This blog is an excellent resource for individuals with New Jersey specific family law questions and advisors whose clients may encounter family law issues.
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Pennsylvania Family Law Blog
The Pennsylvania Family Law Blog provides readers with information on and insight into Pennsylvania Family Law issues, including divorce, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, spousal support, alimony pendente lite, and custody.
View the Pennsylvania Family Law Blog
Delaware Family Law & Trial Practice Blog
Our Wilmington litigators navigate through Delaware’s Family Court, Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas, providing analysis on matters, identifying new cases and developments, detailing the implications of court decisions and offering step-by-step commentary of the trial process.
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Recent Blog Posts
- Same Sex Common Law Marriage Established by Superior Court Since the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act by the United States Supreme Court, many state courts have been trying to fill in the legal vacuum created between the legality of same-sex marriage and the lack of codified law through legislation. Though many Courts of Common Pleas have taken on issues, it really requires good appellate decisions to establish precedential authority on an issue. This can take time since it requires the confluence of good facts applied to the... More
- The Other Defendant: The Impact of Public Persona in a Custody Trial Child custody cases turn on the court’s determination of the child’s best interests. As defined in Pennsylvania, this means having the judge apply evidence to Pennsylvania’s sixteen (16) custody factors and render a decision. Evidence for a trial can come in a variety of ways and, with increasing frequency, the role of social media and public statements are among them. Periodically, a case involving a public figure forces the courts to consider when an individual’s “public persona” or public statements... More
- Modifying Unmodifiable Agreements A standard provision in most written agreements establishes that no modification of the agreement shall occur unless the parties do so in writing (and usually notarized to avoid fraud). Recently, however, I confronted the issue as to whether or not a party may make a valid oral modification of a provision of an agreement. In other words, was the “all modifications in writing” provision of the agreement as ironclad as it appeared? The issue stemmed from the reimbursement of expenses related... More
- Custody Standing Wars- Chapter 2 The leading case from last year in family law was the Supreme Court’s decision in D.P. v. G.J.P. 146 A.3d 204, holding that Pennsylvania’s grandparent custody statute offended principles of privacy and was partially if not wholly unconstitutional. This was an odd turn, in an age when it seemed as if more and more people were eligible to claim custodial time or rights related to children. But the decision earlier this month from the Superior Court in K.W. v. S.L. &... More
- Custodial Ménage A Trois This week we see a new case from a trial court on Long Island, which held that folks who adopt an open marriage that produces children might find the custody courtroom doors open when parts of the relationship have closed. Follow along carefully. It is a bit more “complicated” than you might expect. Dawn and Michael Marano are married in 1994. In 2001, they form an intimate relationship with a neighbor Audria Garcia. The Michael/Audria relationship (yes, the extramarital one) yields... More
- Summer Is Coming – It’s Not Too Late To Plan for Summer Camp 123rf.com For many children the best part of summer is summer camp. Camps can provide the opportunity to learn everything from computer skills to surfing. And, as the saying goes, summer camp is the place where strangers become friends and friendships last forever. For many divorced or separated parents, planning to send a child to summer camp requires additional consideration in order to coordinate schedules. To that end, many custody orders provide timelines for discussing plans or selecting contact weeks. Under the current Delaware Contact Guidelines, the... More
- The Expansion of Tri-Parenting Last year I blogged on tri-parenting, or the concept whereby three parents agree to raise a child or children together as a family, with regard to the published New Jersey trial court decision of D.G. and S.H. v. K.S. My previous blog post can be found here. In that matter, D.G. and his husband, S.H., along with their friend K.S. embarked on a journey of conceiving and raising a child together. The parties agreed to use D.G.’s sperm and K.S.’s egg,... More
- The Possible Impact Of Medicaid Expansion On “Medical Divorce” “Medical divorce” is a term coined some years ago to describe a divorce obtained for medical reasons. More specifically, according to a recent article by George Diepenbrock, researchers defined “medical divorce” as an instance where one partner becomes diagnosed with a degenerative disease, such as early onset dementia. The couple could drain its assets, including retirement savings, to pay for treatment. However, some couples instead choose to divorce to shield one person’s assets. The sick partner would eventually qualify for Medicaid. A... More
- Tax Time Is Here Again – Divorcing Couple May Have Some New Issues To Consider Divorcing couples may face a number of questions at tax time. Prior posts on this blog have highlighted some issues that are worth mentioning again: Tax Issues And Divorce Divorce And Taxes – Did You Change Your Name? Tax Time Is Here Again – Did You Plan Ahead? Name Changes Can Affect The Processing Of Your Federal Tax Return ******************* Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP. Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware office. You can reach Leslie at (302) 622-4203,... More
- Pet Custody – Is It Gaining Momentum? Alaska recently enacted legislation authorizing judges to consider the well-being of animals and to allow judges to assign joint custody of pets. The Providence Journal has reported that Rhode Island is now considering similar legislation. Representative Charlene Lima recently introduced a bill that would require judges to consider the best interests of pets when deciding who gets custody of them in a divorce. The First State is generally pet friendly. In fact, the Animal League Defense Fund ranked Delaware 15th in... More
- Calculating Value Increase in Real Estate During Marriage – The Debt Reduction Side Hopefully all of us know that Pennsylvania is an “increase in value state” meaning that under Section 3501(a) of the Divorce Code, the increase in value of non-marital assets during marriage (to final separation) is a marital asset subject to division. There are two sides to this equation in cases where a spouse brings a premarital home to the marriage. The first is the increase in value that may be brought about by market demand for real estate. In laymen’s... More
- Court Appointed Special Advocate Program Will Join The Office Of The Child Advocate John F. Kennedy said “children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” He was right. In Delaware, volunteer attorneys or volunteer advocates have the privilege of representing our most valuable resource in Family Court proceedings through the Office of the Child Advocate and the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program. Senate Bill 188, which was passed by the General Assembly, will bring both programs under one office. Specifically, This bill transfers the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program to the... More
- Let’s (Not) Make a Deal While we do not typically blog on cases outside of the family court, a recent law division case examined the child support lien statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:56.23b and its impact on settling a personal injury case and on settlements in general. The statute requires that a child support judgment search be performed to determine if a plaintiff in a given lawsuit has an outstanding child support obligation. If he or she does, then the statute requires that any “net proceeds of a... More
- Fail To Comply With Discovery At Your Own Risk The recent decision in the case captioned R.S. v. W.E., Del Fam. Ct., No. CN10-05981, Kerr, J. (Jan. 4, 2017), warns Family Court litigants that failure to comply with discovery can have consequences. In this case, R.S. (“Wife”) was seeking (among other things) alimony. Leading up to the hearing date her ex-husband, W.E. (“Husband”) issued discovery asking for the production of documents. Husband asked for documents related to her income. In addition, he asked for an updated list of her... More
- Pet Custody – Will It Be The New Trend? There is no dispute; going through a divorce can be difficult. For some, coming home to a wagging tail is just what the doctor ordered on those stressful days. What happens to your pet in a divorce? As a prior post explained, pets are considered personal property in Delaware. If the owners cannot agree on what to do, the court can award the family pet to one party or the other. Recognizing that pets are more like family members than furniture for many,... More