Friday, July 14, 2017

The Many Faces of Adoption

Q:  Who can adopt?

When it comes to Pennsylvania adoption law, there are many avenues to a child and many questions to consider along the journey. Where will you adopt – – domestically or internationally? What age will you adopt – – an infant, child, or teen? How will the adoption be structured – – anonymously or “open” where the birth parent is known and involved on some level in the child's life (even if only through periodic photo and status updates)?

But who can adopt? Is adoption really accessible to anyone?

When most people think of adoption they think of a young "traditional" couple with man and a woman who are unable to conceive and are looking to adopt a newborn to complete their family. But where does that leave the people who want to adopt who don't fit into that narrow vision of family – – single women or men, LGBT couples, or older “traditional” couples?

Legally, all those over the age of 18 are able to adopt in most states, but whether adoption agencies will except applicants from nontraditional situations and process them as aggressively as traditional applicants, is not as likely.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Top 5 Mistakes People Make With Prenups

A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” is a contract a couple makes before marriage that sets out certain expectations and requirements during the marriage or in the event of divorce. A prenup can help strengthen a relationship by making certain expectations clear and improving communication between the couple. It can also help protect financial or family interests, particularly when two high net worth individuals marry or when one or both of the new spouses has children from a previous marriage.

To create a prenup that works, however, you’ll need to avoid major pitfalls. Seeking the advice of a skilled Read more . . .

Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Teenager Doesn’t Want to Stay With Me Anymore - Can I Force Them To?

After divorcing your former spouse and gaining custody, you’ve probably grown specially attached to your child. It can be devastating, therefore, when your child no longer wants to stay with you and intimates a preference for the other parent. Nothing is as unsettling as hearing your teenager burst out, “I hate you. I do not want to live here. I want to live with [mom/dad/not you].
Read more . . .

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pennsylvania County Revisits Crackdown on Child Custody for Addicts

Q: Does drug addiction mean automatic loss of child custody?

A Pennsylvania county has taken a ground-breaking approach to handling child custody cases where a custodial parent is abusing or addicted to opioids or other drugs.

Drug addiction and child abuse reporting laws have combined to become a perfect storm for an already overloaded national foster care system in desperate need of more foster parents.

With opioid addiction becoming a national epidemic and states, including Pennsylvania, requiring those who work closely with children to be "mandatory reporters" of any suspected incidents of child abuse-- often within 24 hours of witnessing the suspected abuse incident or evidence-- the traditional knee-jerk reaction of immediately removing children from the substance abusing parent and placing them into foster care may no longer be feasible.
Read more . . .

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Protecting the Family Business with Pre- and Post- Nuptial Agreements

Q: What happens to the family business when a couple gets divorced?

"It's none of your business" might be one of the more benign phrases a couple might hurl at each other as they navigate the divorce process and its aftermath. And while it may be true with respect to most post-divorce personal matters (like non-cohabitation dating), it is often not the case when the divorcing couple shares a family business.

Failure to plan in advance of a divorce for what will happen to the family business both spouses are involved in in the event of a divorce can leave the divorcing couple with fewer options when the unthinkable does happen.
Read more . . .

Monday, February 27, 2017

What can I do about the debt my spouse is incurring during our separation?

Going through a divorce can be a messy process. Court days and fees for attorneys can take a toll, and the whole process is often emotionally draining for everyone involved. It can be very difficult to unwind the shared assets and finances a couple spent time building up.

Most people are aware that the divorce process is going to include the division of assets and debt in some way.

Read more . . .

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Moving In With Someone After Divorce Can Terminate Right to Receive Alimony Payments

When does cohabiting jeopardize the ability to continue receiving alimony from an ex-spouse?

It is not uncommon for one or both of the parties to a divorce to seek new companionship afterwards. But for recipients of alimony who decide to cohabit with a lover after the marriage has been dissolved, there may be an unhappy surprise. Under Pennsylvania law, their alimony rights may be terminated.

A Pennsylvania Statute Makes Some Cohabitation a Bar to Receiving Alimony

The relevant Pennsylvania statute states that, after divorce, cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex who is not a family member is a bar to receiving alimony. Because the purpose of alimony is to provide support for an ex-spouse, cohabiting and sharing living expenses can undermine its rationale.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What are the most common mistakes people make on social media during divorce?

These days, so much of our lives are lived online through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter. We share the good, the bad and the ugly with the simple push of a button, often without thought to what the fallout might be. When it comes to divorce, there are a lot of psychological and emotional factors that lead us to post certain things, like how we really feel about our ex, to how fast we’ve moved on and are enjoying life. Unfortunately, one ill-advised post can seriously affect your divorce. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make during their divorce.

Read more . . .

Friday, December 30, 2016

We need to find ways to support adoption

What are the most common issues facing individuals and families during the adoption process?

Any parents fortunate enough to have met his or her child through adoption knows what a gift that child is. And likely, they also know the headaches involved in the process. If you are thinking about adopting, you may have a lot of questions and anxiety around what happens next. We hope this article will answer some of those questions and help alleviate some of the anxiety you may be feeling.

November was National Adoption month.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

After 45 years, Rendells to divorce

Are there special considerations to keep in mind for divorce for “gray divorces”?

Former governor and mayor Ed Rendell recently announced that he and his wife, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie Rendell are filing for divorce. The Rendells, who have been separated since 2011, have been married for 45 years.

The two maintain that their split is amicable and that they remain on good terms, as evidenced by their ongoing professional relationship managing the Rendell Center, as well as attending a family trip together to Jamaica.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What custody rights remain for grandparents in Pennsylvania?

Separation and divorce can be upsetting for both the married couple and their children.  Not knowing what the future holds can also be concerning for grandparents, who may wonder if they’ll see their grandchildren, especially if the divorce is particularly acrimonious.  And, while custody disputes are usually left to the parents, in some cases, grandparents may get involved.


Read more . . .

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