Blog – Pennsylvania Family Law

Mark contributes to the Pennsylvania Family Law Blog, which 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.

Recent Blog Posts

  • General Assembly Reduces No Fault Separation to 1 Year On September 26, the Pennsylvania Senate returned to session and adopted amendments to the Pennsylvania Divorce Code that reduced the period by which a party can secure a no-fault divorce on the basis of irretrievable breakdown from two years to one. The bill is awaiting signature by Governor Wolf. When first enacted in 1980 the Divorce Code required a three-year separation before a divorce could be obtained on no-fault grounds without consent. In 1988 the law was amended to reduce the... More
  • BUSINESS VALUATION 101: The Management Interview I recently attended a firm sponsored seminar on business valuation where one of the presenters was Sandra Klevan, a seasoned expert in the field who is affiliated with Financial Research in Bala Cynwyd, PA. One of the subjects Sandy touched upon was the importance of the management interview to the valuation process. In an effort to manage costs and, in some instances, out of pure arrogance, some business appraisers will either severely limit or even skip this highly important step. A business... More
  • Parents vs. Grandma & Grandpa: Revenge of The Parents On September 9, 2016 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that portions of the current child custody law were an unconstitutional interference with the fundamental right of parents to raise their children in accordance with their own standards and beliefs. It involves some unusual facts and a quirky portion of the custody law defining when grandparents have standing to seek an award of partial physical custody. The section in controversy, was enacted in 2010. It relates only to requests for partial custody.... More
  • Berry Interesting; The Berry-Martinez Divorce Slips Into Neutral This author is not much for the world of Hollywood although this law firm does have an office there. But in reviewing the general news of the day, the screen divulged that the divorce involving Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez is now on hold, nine months after that party started. This is a new phenomenon affecting the ordinary world as well. We have several cases where the parties have either found a reason to stop the presses of divorce filings or... More
  • The Sloppy World Of Contempt Proceedings We have written before about the subject of when and how a person can be in “contempt” of a court order. The word itself is riddled with often misunderstood meaning.  What could be worse than having a court decide that you are contemptible? In the past week I have been called to court to prosecute or defend two of these cases. The first instance involved a request to find my client in contempt of a custody order.  The court where the... More
  • SCHOOL DAZE: How School Rankings Impact Custody Last week Newsweek published its annual rankings of America’s Top High Schools.  This is a much awaited publication for those with children of that age and it is undoubtedly well circulated in the admissions offices of our colleges and universities. These compilations also commonly hit the family lawyer’s desk whenever there is a hot dispute over primary custody or relocation. In reading the recent history of relocation cases, the decided focus of Superior Court cases is on the matter of how... More
  • Stay Single And Double The Pleasure Of Home Mortgage Interest In recent years much has been written about the “marriage penalty” when it comes to federal income tax. As a group known as the Tax Foundation states it “An unmarried couple with equal incomes that earn a combined $300,000 would have a total tax bill of $83,232.50 ($64,374.50 from the individual income tax and an additional $18,858.00 from the payroll tax).  If they were to get married, they would be hit by a marriage penalty of $3,806.50.  The penalty has... More
  • Shareholder Rights; Family Style Listen to the rhetoric of any political campaign and you will hear the familiar refrain. “Family business is the backbone of the American economy.”  Factually, true enough but history has taught us that families that play together don’t always stay together.  So here is the common scenario: a couple forms a business. They do it on the dining room table of their first apartment and without thinking about any consequence, husband takes 80% of the stock and gives wife 20%... More
  • Understanding The Dependency Exemption Fight! Having just finished one of these, I searched our database and noted that we had written very little about it. In my case earlier this week, my adversary and I had been negotiating a child support order. After several rounds, we reached a mutually acceptable conclusion. When I wrote to confirm our “terms” I received a responsive email that the child’s father wanted to claim the child as a dependent on his federal income tax returns “every other year.”  My client... More
  • Number 18: Really? Each month we get a report from our own marketing folks on how many people read and subscribe to our blog. On June 29, we received an email from Adelaide in South Australia in which a law firm has taken the time to evaluate the 100 best divorce blogs in the world.  It was a bit of a shock that someone actually tracked 100 blogs and attempted to rank them but we can happily report that we ranked No. 18... More