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

  • JULY: IT’S CALENDAR TIME As June and the front half of the year grind to a close, it is the perfect time to do a couple things which could save you a LOT of legal fees in the next 12 months.  Perhaps not, but it is worth the effort and is an effective piece of evidence in court even if you fail. Download the school calendar for 2018-2019. They are done now. On a blank calendar record the school holidays and “breaks”. On the same calendar put... More
  • Hanrahan v. Bakker: A Hit or a Miss? On June 19, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in an Opinion that could be described as unanimous, ruled that the trial court was correct when it decided that it could deviate from presumptive minimum guidelines in a high-end child support case. The case has been floating about for quite some time. We wrote about the Superior Court decision back on December 7, 2016 and we provided the incomes the Delaware County Court had to look at: Mom Dad 2009 184,000 4,000,000 2010 139,000 1,100,000 2011 145,000 2,300,000 2012 105,000 15,500,000 The case arises from a... More
  • Things Do Not Look “Joli[e]” in the Brad & Angelina Custody War The Hollywood gossip this week revolves around an Order issued in California in the custody dispute between actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. That Order outlined a summer custody schedule for the six children while maintaining primary custody with Jolie. But the Court issued stern warning to the Mother stating that: “If the minor children remain closed down to their Father….it may result in a reduction of the time they spend with {Mother} and may result in the Court ordering... More
  • SUPPORT CONTEMPT: PUNISHMENT DELAYED MAY MEAN PUNISHMENT DENIED It happens every day throughout the Commonwealth.  It is support contempt court and the crowd is large and anxious. On Valentine’s Day, 2017 a contempt hearing was scheduled with the petitioner being the grandmother of two young children, and the respondent, her daughter.  The daughter was supposed to pay $108 in support and $30 on arrears. As often occurs at these contempt hearings, a deal was struck and placed in writing.  The agreement was admitted contempt but no incarceration provided that all... More
  • AUTHENTICATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA; NO EASY MATTER In a published decision reported on March 15, 2018, the Superior Court has addressed what it takes, at least in a criminal setting, to tie a Facebook posting to a defendant charged with a serious crime. Tyler Mangel and Matthew Craft were charged with assault in Erie County.  In the course of the prosecution, the Commonwealth filed to secure Facebook subscriber information.  That motion was granted and at trial, the prosecution filed a motion to introduce information obtained from Facebook, which... More
  • Superior Court Deals Blow to “Dissipation” Theories in Equitable Distribution A recent case published by the Superior Court gives us some insight into one issue which has thus far evaded appellate review and affirms in principle that alimony remains a secondary remedy and one which is awarded based upon need. Core facts are: Husband: 61 Wife: 56 Both employed in health care industry. Husband’s net: $16,000 Wife’s net: $10,400 (60/40) 25 year marriage Wife received support $2,200 in support since 2012. Court awarded 55/45 split in favor of Wife.  The gross estate is $7,000,000+ pensions. Wife asserted that Husband had dissipated... More
  • Don’t Assume Your Instagram is Private In February 2018 we wrote about a recent New York appellate case making clear that those who post information about themselves on Facebook are going to have a difficult time asserting that the posting is private and not subject to scrutiny in subsequent judicial proceedings. This is especially true where the content of the posting can be tied to the litigation. In that case, a Facebook posting was found to be discoverable in a personal injury case. That was New York... More
  • ARE THERE PRIVACY RIGHTS IN FACEBOOK POSTINGS? New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals ruled on February 13, 2018 that a Facebook account holder’s designation of a posting as “private” did not preclude a litigant from obtaining copies of those postings where they may be relevant to the litigation. The ruling comes from a personal injury case where the plaintiff claimed to suffer permanent injury in an equine fall.  The plaintiff’s claims included those typically associated with loss of enjoyment of life. The defendant sought to secure... More
  • PARKLAND This is not a political outlet.  So, I will confine my “political” comment to a single set of facts.  17 people killed yesterday. 32 school days so far this year.  Time Magazine reports 18 school shootings.  So a school shooting every other day. The interviews I heard last night on television provided a haunting reminder of a conversation I had earlier that day with a colleague who treats families going through divorce.  We spoke about a common case.  The child we... More
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE “WILLOUGHBY MOMENT” 2017 was a remarkable year in many ways.  In late Spring we watched one of America’s favorite entertainers tried for sexual assault.  In October, prominent producer Harvey Weinstein  was accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women.  The list of prominent men who have fallen from grace since the Weinstein story broke on October 5 would occupy a blog site of its own.  As this is written, a story has broken that a California legislator and leader of... More