Blog – Pennsylvania Family Law

http://pafamilylaw.foxrothschild.com/

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

  • SO, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT LAWYER? This afternoon brought me an email from a fellow from West Virginia. The caption indicated it might involve a new divorce matter.  I opened it to read: “I found your name online and I wanted to send you a quick email before I called your office. If you are interested in taking on new clients or finding new cases, please take 30 seconds to read this email. You will not be disappointed. The way our program works is simple. We have your... More
  • FAMILY PROBLEMS ARE THE PROBLEMS. POLITICS ARE BUT A DIVERSION. If you were home last week or this week, the television screen has lit up with some of the most rancorous debate I have seen in my lifetime.  This is saying something because I was around for the summer of 1968 when the world watched assassins, protesters and rioters really start to take America apart.  At that time, 300 young Americans were dying each week in Vietnam.  The Chicago police were dragging delegates off the floor of the Democratic Convention. These... More
  • Update on CARES Act & Your Access to Retirement Accounts When the CARES Act passed last spring we wrote about the provisions, which allowed IRA & 401(K) holders to access their accounts while avoiding tax consequences.  We also noted that the devil is often found in the details.  Nevertheless, in late June, the IRS issued Notices 2020-50 and 2020-51.  You should review these publications and/or confer with your retirement consultant/administrator before taking any distribution or loan. First and most important from a temporal viewpoint.  If you took money out of a... More
  • AN IMPORTANT, ALBEIT NON-PRECEDENTIAL ADDITION TO RELOCATION LAW Since 2011, we have had a statute setting forth both a procedure and a judicial standard for the determination of requests to relocate with a child.  We have previously observed that the appellate decisions coming both before and after enactment of 23 Pa.C.S. 5337 have made relocation a rocky road.  However, a panel decision issued on August 17 in J.G. v. K.G clarifies that the professed “duty to mitigate” is one rock too many. Marriage in Indiana produced two children ages... More
  • ARM WRESTLING OVER THE DEPENDENCY EXEMPTION? There are still things to discover about the 2017 Tax Reform passed by Congress late in that year.  The bar and the accounting community have spilled lots of ink over the changes to the law affecting alimony and many other lesser issues.  One of those issues is the temporary disappearance of the longstanding dependency deduction/exemption.  It still goes to the parent with primary custody unless there is an agreement otherwise.  Nevertheless, until 2025, the “deduction” has been effectively gutted.  In... More
  • SUPERIOR COURT WIDENS THE DURESS DOOR In a reported three judge panel decision issued on June 12, 2020, the Superior Court appears to have made it easier for parties to avoid a contractual agreement on the basis of duress.  The case, Lewis v. Lewis is reported as 2020 Pa. Super. 140. The Pennsylvania standard for duress as a basis for voiding a contract has long been that set forth in Carrier v. William Penn Broadcasting, a 1967 decision by the Supreme Court. 233 A.2d 519.   To set... More
  • Defining Net Income for 2020 is Going to Be “A Problem” I attended a seminar offered by accountant, Mitchell E. Benson, CPA, MT, CFF (Savran Benson LLP), Brian C. Vertz, Esquire (Pollock Begg) and Aliah Molczan (Savran Benson LLP) on July 9, 2020.  One of the topics discussed was the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans, which were distributed in the second quarter of 2020 to allow employers to keep staff on payroll through June 30, 2020. The tax aspects of this plan are still in a state of flux, and there... More
  • COLLEGE DEBT & EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION When couples decide to end a marriage, the process involves division of the good (the assets) the bad (the liabilities) and the ugly (liabilities that exceed assets).  Hearing officers whom we have spoken with report that they are seeing more cases where the controversies are ugly.  A decade ago, the battles were typically about overleveraged homes that were “upside down” (debt far exceeding market value).  The growing economy of the past decade has fixed many of those problems, but, for... More
  • BUSINESS VALUATION & THE COVID PARADOX As I write this, the Atlanta branch of the Federal Reserve System has just announced their forecast that second quarter gross domestic product is expected to plummet 53%; a harrowing statistic.  Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index sits at 3,055.  That’s where it was on March 5 of this year, at which time, there were fewer than 50 coronavirus deaths in the entire country.  On March 5, unemployment in the United States was 3.5%.  At the end of April, it was... More
  • IS THE REVERSE MORTGAGE A VIABLE OPTION? It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures.  Many people out there today are facing some financial headwinds that were not reasonably foreseeable a few months ago.  Today they have businesses to operate or even daily bills to pay while afflicted with cash shortages. The reverse mortgage or more properly the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) has been around for a while.  In an age of low interest rates it has seemed like a device which merited attention.  Many... More