Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. Blog

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.
Read more . . .

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, June 25, 2017

Lancaster County Hit-and-Run School Bus Accident Suspect Charged

Q: Should I accept an insurance settlement offer after an accident?

One of the most common grounds for a personal injury action involves automobile accidents.

Personal injury lawsuits arise when a person or entity causes injury or harm to another person as a result of their negligent, careless, or malicious actions or in actions. If the victim can prove the defendant was liable for the accident, they may be entitled to recover compensatory damages for such things as current and future medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more, depending on the circumstances of each case.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Faster Divorce Possible Now in Pennsylvania

Q: How long is the waiting period for a unilateral no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania and when does the period begin?

For couples that want to divorce in Pennsylvania, the good news is that the waiting period for a unilateral no-fault divorce was recently reduced from two years to one year – – so you can move on with your life after divorce a little faster than before.


The key to how fast you can divorce lies in the date of separation of the couple.
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 . . .

Sunday, April 30, 2017

What Can I Do If My Ex Is Bad-Mouthing Me Online During Our Divorce?

The Internet is a fun to place to connect with other people and share with them. However, some people take advantage of this platform to post negative, untrue and hurtful things about others. Sometimes, the person posting this type of content is a soon-to-be former spouse. This can cause hurt feelings, embarrassment and additional stress during an already stressful time. 

If your spouse is bad-mouthing you online, the last thing you want to do is engage in the same behavior.
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 . . .

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Do I have valid grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania?

No one walks into a marriage expecting to break up afterwards. However, when things get irrecoverably sour, a visit to a divorce lawyer is sometimes inevitable. You may be wondering whether your grounds for divorce are recognized by the state or whether you are legally capable of filing for divorce.
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 . . .

Archived Posts


© 2020 Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. | Disclaimer
38 N 6th Street, Reading, PA 19601
| Phone: 610.372.2700

Family Law | Civil Litigation | Real Estate | Business Law | Estate Planning & Probate | Personal Injury | About Us

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative

© Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. | Disclaimer | Law Firm Website Design by Zola Creative