Blogs

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.
View the New Jersey Family Law Blog

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

Recent Blog Posts

  • NAVIGATING A HOME TRANSFER IN DIVORCE Just about every divorce case involves a house and its corresponding mortgage.  In a small number of cases parties agree that dissolution of the marriage is also an opportune time to downsize the residence, but in most situations, at least one of the parties wants to keep the residence, even if just, “for a while.” This is where complications can arise.  Certainly one spouse can transfer their interest in the home to the other.  Nevertheless, any such transfer comes “under and... More
  • Children are Seen & Heard in the United States Supreme Court This is a slow news week in the world of domestic relations. For this lawyer only two Christmas crises and those easily resolved. Hollywood is obsessing over whether Jennifer Anniston’s holiday ornament with a Covid theme was insensitive. We know that at least 1,600 people who started the day with the ability to worry about that subject won’t have to grapple with it any longer as they will have died today from the disease. The interesting subject for me today was... More
  • The New Years Resolution Divorce For many divorce attorneys, the busy season starts after the first of the year. For the last several years, I have posted on the phenomenon of the New Year’s Resolution Divorce. For whatever reason, this post has struck a chord and has been both well received and cited by other bloggers. As such, given that the new year is near, I thought I would share that piece again, updated slightly for the new year. Over the years, I have noted that... More
  • A Victim of Domestic Violence Need Not Have Disclosed the Abuse to Another to Establish a Predicate Act of Domestic Violence Victims of abuse have many reasons for not reporting prior acts of domestic violence – either to friends, family, co-workers, etc. or the police.  Logically, the failure to report does not negate the fact that the abuse happened.  One would think that judges hearing domestic violence, more so than most people, would not that given the domestic violence training that they receive, as well as their training in the law. Yet this is exactly what happened in the trial court as... More
  • The World of Missing Retirement Assets We have heard about the data.  In 2015, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics published a study indicating that the average worker could expect to hold 12 jobs during his/her career.  More recently, another study indicates that among younger workers (ages 25-35), job changes are occurring once every 2.8 years. Many of these jobs are temporary or independent contractor arrangements.  Those folks are typically not eligible to participate in qualified retirement plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).... More
  • If the Enforceability of a Prenuptial Agreement is at Issue, Courts Shouldn’t Wait to Deal With It Prior to the walk down the aisle for the happiest day of their lives – to that point – many hopeless romantics decide (or are required by their parents) to get a prenuptial agreement which set forth many of their rights and responsibilities in the event of death or divorce.  Typically, a prenuptial agreement has provisions wherein one or both parties knowingly waive rights that they would otherwise have upon death or divorce if there was no prenup.  Put another... More
  • Beware the Divorce Complaint with the Ticking “Bomb” Divorce Complaints come in a variety of ways.  Most lawsuits require delivery by people in patrol cars and uniforms. In the divorce world, things are a bit more “loose.”  Your complaint can come by sheriff, or a constable without uniform, or by another adult.  It can be sent by mail if a return receipt is involved. The complaint itself is innocuous.  It says that a divorce is sought and specifies if economic claims for alimony, property division, counsel fees and other... More
  • If You Want to Keep Your Final Restraining Order, Maintaining a Sexual Relationship with the Defendant Is a Bad Idea More than 11 years ago, I wrote a post on this blog entitled The Abuse and Misuse of the Domestic Violence Statute. From the statistics, we can see that this is still one of the most read items we have published, because the problem remains 11 + years later.  I concluded that post by stating: At the end of the day, the domestic violence statute is an important and necessary tool to protect victims of domestic violence.  That said, it should... More
  • Income for Support Purposes Includes Bonuses and Deferred Compensation – Well No Kidding We see it all of the time.  The support (alimony and child support) obligor’s income is made up of multiple components – typically salary, bonus and/or deferred compensation.  In cases where the bonus/deferred comp makes up only a small portion of the total yearly income, you usually wont see too much fighting about what the income to use for support purposes should be.  On the other hand, when the majority of the income comes from bonuses and/or deferred compensation, that’s... More
  • Take “CARES” When Reviewing 2020 Business Returns It has been a very long, if not a very good year.  We noted in an earlier post that one of the challenges reserved for 2021 would be to see how the IRS would address the dischargeable loans granted to hundreds of thousands of businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  Recall that those who “borrowed” under that program were eligible to have the loan forgiven if it was shown that the funds were deployed to cover: (a) payroll; (b)... More
  • COVID CRAZY TRAVEL Imagine being a kid; any age over four.  Unless you are well north of age 100, you have never seen anything like this.  Adults fighting about everything and demonstrating some levels of rudeness not seen since the school bussing controversy in the 1970s where people fought in the streets over whether or how to promote integration. Kids can’t understand this.  Why are adults so angry?  From a child’s point of view, we just did the Halloween thing.  It’s time now to... More
  • Even At a Default Hearing, An Expert Report is Inadmissable Hearsay if the Expert Doesn’t Testify Very often, uncertified expert reports are attached to certifications and courts are asked to accept them though there is no ability to cross examine the expert, etc.  Sometimes, that even happens at a default or other hearing.  That is, a party tries to put the report into evidence without any testimony – direct or cross-examination of the expert.  A default hearing occurs for a few reasons.  Sometimes, the defendant never actually answers the Complaint. Other times, a party is defaulted... More
  • Are You a Facebook Cybercriminal? Family law blogs are usually not fertile grounds to write about criminal law.  Yet even family lawyers are not immune from situations where our specialty crosses paths with the dark side.  We have previously written about Pennsylvania’s tightly wound wiretap law, which requires that both parties consent before sound is electronically recorded.  Failure to get the consent of the person recorded may be a crime.  18 Pa.C.S. 5701. A recent article in the current issue of The Bencher, a magazine published... More
  • A Mortgage Foreclosure Primer We have recently had inquiries about foreclosures.  Given the current economic climate, this is probably going to become more common.  The good news is that home prices are up, particularly in the Philadelphia suburbs.  But for those who have a house that’s underwater (debt exceeds sales price less commission/transfer taxes) there are things worth knowing. First, what we like to term a “mortgage” is usually two different legal documents.  A mortgage is actually a legal document filed in the Recorder of... More
  • Cohabitation as a “Joint Venture” Back in March of this year when the first lockdown began, there were news reports of people electing to quarantine together, if for no other reason, than to avoid isolation.  In some instances, it was to give a forming relationship a “test run.” Living together, what my parents’ generation liked to call, “living in sin,” is the new normal.  The pandemic just caused some timetables to be advanced.  Nevertheless, as we know, cohabitation often breeds other entanglements, both literally and figuratively. Take... More
  • RETURN ON INVESTMENT: UGH! In February 2017 and again July 31, 2019, we posted an article regarding what returns should be ascribed to investment assets transferred in equitable distribution.  In 2019, with dividends reinvested the S&P 500 returned just over 33%.  This year-to-date, 8.5%, which is still not bad, but it has also been a wild ride.  In 2019, we wrote about a 10-year Treasury yielding a lousy 2.06%.  Today 0.83%. So last July, we played off an article appearing in Kiplinger’s Magazine that set... More
  • New Case Inadvertently Serves as a Tip for Couples with Young Children Divorcing/Setting Child Support The newly unreported (does not set precedent) decision of Covone v. Curreri makes two bold moves: (1) asserting that the passage of time is not a change in circumstance warranting a modification to child support and (2) confirming that the trial court has authority to allocate expenses between parents even without proof of their financial circumstances.  When rendering this decision, affirmed by the Appellate Court, it seems that the trial court inadvertently gave some tips for couples with young children... More
  • NJ Divorce Court State of Play After 6 Months of COVID 19 Restrictions Two common questions I hear from potential clients, as well as the general public, are (1) are the courts open and (2) can people even file new matters (divorce, enforcement, modification, etc.) Some express shock when then learn that the Courts never actually closed – well sort of. In March and early April, there was, let’s say, a hiccup of sorts as both the courts, attorneys and litigants got used to working remotely and dealing with court business remotely.  The Court... More
  • The Examination Of A Child In A Protection From Abuse Hearing Governor John Carney recently signed House Bill 141 into law.  The Bill amends Section 1042 of Title 10 of the Delaware Code regarding protection from abuse proceedings by creating a new subsection (f).  This subsection permits the Family Court to interview a child outside of the presence of the parties.  Specifically, the Bill provides: 1042. Commencement of action; procedure. (f) The Court may examine a child outside the presence of the parties for the purpose of obtaining the child’s testimony and ascertaining the truth of a matter asserted... More
  • Supreme Court Addresses The Application Of A Rebuttable Presumption The Sex Offenders Act is found in Chapter 7A of Title 13 of the Delaware Code.  Section 724A of the Sex Offenders Act imposes a rebuttable presumption “that no sex offender shall be awarded sole or joint custody of any child, that no child shall primarily reside with a sex offender, and that no sex offender shall have unsupervised visitation with a child.”  In the case of Division of Family Services v. Mark O’Bryan, No. 175, 2016 (May 31, 2017) the... More
  • Family Court Releases Electronic Order Request Forms Family Court has not yet moved to the electronic filing system used by other Delaware Courts.  However, effective today, June 1, 2017, attorneys and litigants in Family Court may request to receive orders issued in all their civil matters by encrypted email rather than U.S. mail.  To do so attorneys may complete and file Family Court Form 613 and litigants may complete Family Court Form 614.   ************ Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware... More
  • Don’t Forget To Celebrate – May Is National Foster Care Month By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation During the month of May, we observe National Foster Care Month and we celebrate those who have opened their homes and their hearts to children in need and those who have devoted their careers to serving America’s foster youth. Americans throughout the country are serving their communities as foster parents, mentors, respite care providers, and volunteers.  In the last year alone, America’s foster families opened their homes and hearts to more than... More
  • Support Persons In Family Court   The Delaware Constitution, Delaware Code and the court rules specify whether Family Court matters are open or closed to the public.  If a matter is closed, generally only the parties, their legal counsel, and their witnesses are allowed to be present.  The Court understands, however, that litigation can be stressful.  In some cases, the presence of a someone to provide moral and/or emotional support can be helpful to a litigant.  To that end, the Court recently created a process to assist litigants in requesting the attendance of a support person in closed proceedings.  Additional... More
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates Needed! Prior posts have addressed the important role of child advocates in Family Court.  CASAs, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are one example of the wonderful advocates who volunteer their time to represent Delaware’s children in Family Court. Across Delaware, over 200 volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) build close relationships with and serve as one-on-one advocates for children in foster care. The CASA program recruits and specially trains these volunteers from the community, who are then appointed as advocates by a Family Court Judge. The CASA... More
  • Public Persona And Custody   The Delaware Family Court decides custody and visitation actions based on the best interests of a child. To make that determination the Court must consider specific factors listed in Section 722 of Title 13. In addition, the Court may consider any other relevant information. What is relevant is a case-by-case analysis. For public figures like Alex Jones public statements or their public persona could be relevant. A recent post by Aaron Weems, a Partner in our Blue Bell, Pennsylvania office, examines the... 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 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