Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. Blog

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Common Family Law Issues for Same Sex Couples

Now that same-sex marriage is just as legal as different-sex marriage in all 50 states, everyone has a right to a legal marriage with their partner of choice. No more having to settle for “marriage substitutes” like civil unions or domestic partnerships. Being able to marry does not, however, solve all the problems that two people can experience. With legalized marriage comes the possibility of divorce and having to sort out the same issues different-sex couples have faced for many years, as well as some scenarios that have been unique to same-sex couples.

Read more . . .

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pennsylvania is Toughest on Child Support Enforcement

Q: What can be done to enforce a child support order?

There is no place safe in Pennsylvania for “deadbeat” dads or moms.

Lancaster County child support attorneys know that the county’s collection rate of 84% matched the state of Pennsylvania's overall collection rate--which is by far the best in the nation at enforcing child support orders. In comparison, the national average is 65%.
Read more . . .

Monday, November 20, 2017

What Factors Do Judges Consider in Awarding Spousal Support?

If you are facing the possibility of getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering if you will receive or have to pay alimony, and if so, how much. Unlike the calculation of child support, there is no formula for determining the amount of spousal support in Pennsylvania. A Reading divorce lawyer can help you understand the factors that judges consider when awarding spousal support. In the meantime, take a look at the following 17-factors.

Pennsylvania judges use statutory guidelines called the “17 Factors” when deciding how much alimony to award in a divorce, what kind of spousal support, how long it will last, and the form of payment.
Read more . . .

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Post-Nuptial Agreements: Not Just for Cheaters

Q: Why would couples sign a post-nuptial agreement?

Pennsylvania marital agreement attorneys help couples before or after their marriage enter contracts establishing the rights and responsibilities of the couple if they don't live happily ever after.

Read more . . .

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Reading Child Abduction Case Closed

Q: Can child custody become a criminal matter?

It isn't every day that a Reading, Pennsylvania child custody dispute makes national headlines, but it recently happened.

Pennsylvania family law attorneys help couples who are divorcing or separating with the transition to living separate lives. That often includes distributing jointly-held marital property and, in the case of minor children, determining what is in the best interest of the children as far as child custody and child support are concerned.
Read more . . .

Friday, October 6, 2017

I Lost My Job and Can’t Afford Child Support - What Are My Options?

If you cannot afford to pay child support because you have lost your job, your options will depend on several factors, including why you lost your job and whether there is already a court order requiring you to pay support. A child support lawyer can be a tremendous ally during this time. While it is true that lawyers cost money, they can also save you money in the long run and help you avoid defaulting on a court judgment.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hunting Down Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Fugitives

Q: What should I do if I can’t make my child support payment?

Many people have heard of or watched "America's Most Wanted" a television show that for a quarter of a century, used actors to reenact dangerous fugitives and sought public’s help in locating them and bringing them to justice. The episodes would display a toll-free phone number for viewers to call in their tips on the fugitive’s whereabouts.

Well, hard-core or violent criminals are not the only fugitives that are being sought out. The hunt is on for “domestic relations fugitives” and local sheriff’s offices are asking for the public’s help in tracking down some of the Family Court’s “Most-Wanted” offenders.

A domestic relations fugitive is a person who is wanted for failure to appear in Family Court.
Read more . . .

Friday, September 15, 2017

What Is The Difference Between Physical and Legal Custody of Children In Divorce?

If you are going through a divorce and children are involved, you and your ex-spouse will need to come together and make child custody decisions. Child custody refers to the rights and obligations that parents have when it comes to caring for their children. It is broken down into two types: physical and legal custody. Both parents tend to have legal custody, but one may not have physical custody, depending on where they live.

This article discusses the differences in types of child custody.
Read more . . .

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt Children in Pennsylvania?


Even the most passive observer of American life will have noticed that the United States is moving towards granting equal rights to same-sex individuals and couples.  For example, the US Supreme Court recently ruled that same-sex marriages are to be legal in all 50 states.  On the other hand, not every corner of America is moving at the same rate.  The Texas Supreme Court just ruled that while same-sex couples can get married in Texas, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those couples are entitled to the same rights and benefits as married mixed-sex couples.  With so much changing so quickly, family planning for same-sex couples can be very difficult.
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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 . . .

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