Same-Sex Adoption

While Pennsylvania does not acknowledge same-sex marriages, the Supreme Court has established that same-sex adoptions can take place in the form of a second-parent adoption. A second-parent adoption allows a person to adopt the child of their “unmarried” partner. In 2002, the Supreme Court held that the parental rights of the first parent need not […]

Defense to Spousal Support

A claim for spousal support may be denied where the spouse seeking support has engaged in conduct that would constitute grounds for a fault-based divorce. The fault grounds under the Pennsylvania Divorce Code include: (1) willful and malicious desertion without reasonable cause for at least one year; (2) adultery; (3) cruel and barbarous treatment of […]

Bankruptcy

As it relates to individuals considering bankruptcy the two most frequently used types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 provides for the liquidation of assets to satisfy debts owed. All nonexempt assets are gathered by a trustee and sold to pay off debts. Certain assets may be exempted from liquidation depending […]

Elective Share

It is possible for a spouse intentionally left out of the other spouse’s will to still receive a share of the estate in the event of death. Pennsylvania law provides for an “elective share” pursuant to 20 Pa. C.S. 2203(a). This law provides that if a person is still married at the time of their […]

Legal Separation

Pennsylvania does not recognize legal separation in that there’s nothing you would file with the court to establish separation. Instead, it is a date established between the parties that later becomes relevant in establishing grounds for divorce or valuing assets that need to be divided. Separation does not mean the parties have to live separately. […]

The Possibility Coaches

The Possibility Coaches are hosting a free lecture titled “How to Emotionally Thrive During & After Divorce!” at our Langhorne office on January 29, 2014. Jon Sattin and Chris Pattay are the partners behind the Possibility Coaches and focus on empowering men and women alike to lead meaningful lives and engage in healthy, successful relationships. […]

Debt Compromise

It can be difficult to catch up on support if a large arrears balance accrues. Unfortunately, sometimes the party paying support has good intentions to pay support but due to circumstances out of their control, end up falling behind. It may be possible to arrange a settlement to clear up an arrears balance. The settlement […]

County Differences: Support

There are some differences in procedure among the different counties even though the same law applies. One example is as it relates to support proceedings. Bucks County uses a two-tier system for handling support matters. The first step involves a conference before a court officer. At the conference level, both parties are required to bring […]

National Adoption Day

November is National Adoption Month. This is the 18th year for recognition of National Adoption Month. It started as National Adoption Week in 1984 on the motion of President Ronald Reagan. In 1995, President Clinton extended the recognition from a week to the entire month of November. Pennsylvania participates in presentation of a proclamation every […]

Service in Divorce

Once a divorce complaint is filed it must be served on the opposing party before the matter can proceed. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1930.4 discusses acceptable methods of service for all domestic relations matters. The complaint must be served by personal service or certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested. If personal service is […]