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

  • SEPARATION & SOCIAL MEDIA: MANAGING THE ANNOUNCEMENT At the risk of appearing obsessed, I write a second time about the separation of Jeff and Makenzie Bezos. This time my subject is again borrowed from the Wall Street Journal, but it’s not about the money. Rather, the Journal produced a prominent and adulatory article about the divorce announcement by the couple (actually Jeff) on Twitter. I thought it interesting because anyone who separates from a spouse or long time relationship is left asking; how do I let people... More
  • MEGA WEALTH & DIVORCE: CONSIDERING MATTERS BEZOS While writing about high profile divorces is a means of attracting readers, it really leaves most of us feeling “empty” when it comes to how it relates to our ordinary lives. But the announcement this week of the divorce agreement between Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. There is a reason for this. Unlike the split of say P. Diddy and Cassandra Ventura announced in October, the Bezos divorce actually could affect our... More
  • THE PERILS OF “INSTANT” MESSAGING OVER THE HOLIDAYS Holidays are supposed to be a time of merriment and conviviality.  Experience has taught us that they are also a time of immense stress.  This is especially true where families are no longer intact.  Families bring with them a sense of “expectation” and holidays are full of rituals, whether it be the Thanksgiving family football game in the backyard or the Feast of the Seven Fishes at Christmas.  Your families expect you to be there and to be there in... More
  • Lessons from the Lauren McCluskey Tragedy She was 21 and a college student. Anyone who recalls being 21 will also recall that it is an age of experimentation. Today she is dead, murdered by a person whom she dated for a month. Her killer was a 37-year-old man with a long criminal history of sexual abuse. It seems that toward the end she figured this out and sought help from law enforcement. However, where the relationship has a consensual element, it is difficult for law enforcement... More
  • Countdown for Tax Reform: How It May Affect You Just before Christmas last year, Congress passed and the President signed a major tax reform package that contained a surprising wrinkle.  It abandoned a decades long provision that permitted payors of alimony or spousal support to deduct their payments from income and required recipients to report the payments and pay tax on them. The effective date of this change was/is December 31, 2018.  Orders and Agreements in effect on that date maintain the old tax treatment.  Still taxable to payee.  Still... More
  • Third Party Custody Standing: More from the Supremes   Two years ago the Pennsylvania Supreme Court weighed in on the matter of how third party standing was consistent with the fundamental right of parents to raise their children. That case moved the ball in a new direction as we had seen a trend favoring third party involvement in child custody litigation where “interest” was shown. On September 21, the Supreme Court issued a decision underscoring the definition of a parent and further articulating who can qualify as in loco... More
  • Navigating the Prenuptial Agreement: A Young Person’s Guide & Questions Worth Asking This was a summer where prenuptials arrived in profusion, and what made it interesting is that just about all of them involved folks who were either beginning or in the middle of their earning careers. Most prenuptials involve couples who already have kids from former marriages and money they want to preserve for those kids. But we also see prenups for young people who have wealth already transmitted from their parents; parents who want that wealth to stay on their... More
  • Why Your Divorce Lawyer Should be Talking About Retirement & Why You Should be Listening It is axiomatic that divorce is an emotional process. Samuel Johnson summed up domestic life best when he wrote, “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” One of the great challenges of representing clients going through this highly emotional chapter of life is that their focus tends to be on the present. Certainly, there are many daily issues that do merit attention. We live day-to-day. But, when I do an initial interview with a client, two... More
  • Coping with Abuse: A Second Jennifer Emerges Time flies!  In February of this year, a breaking story emerged about a senior White House staffer who was struggling with a security clearance.  The staff person was Rob Porter and his problem was that he had been accused of the physical abuse of his former wife, Jennifer Willoughby.  Willoughby appeared in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  On February 23, we wrote that every American with a teenage child should have their child watch Willoughby tell her story in... More
  • The Tail that May Not End Every year, both in April and in October, divorce lawyers face a dilemma.  While April is the official tax deadline, just about everyone knows that “complex” returns are almost never complete when spring rolls around and many filers defer to October.  But, when couples split they often ask for the first time whether they should be filing jointly with their spouse.  This often presents difficult questions for the lawyers because we are not accountants and we are latecomers to the... More