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Recent Posts in Court Cases Category

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Custody factors and custody orders

In this 2015 case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court smacked down a judge in York County, PA for his continued refusal to properly apply the 16 best interest factors of 23 Pa.C.S.A. 5328 (a) and the ...
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Are post-separation disability payments "marital", under Pennsylvania law?

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently dealt with the question of whether post-separation disability payments are marital. In Yuhas v. Yuhas, the husband was a vascular surgeon who developed carpal ...
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Can a PA court modify an alimony stipulation reached by the parties?

In a case of first impression, the Pennsylvania Superior Court dealt with an alimony stipulation between Husband and Wife. The stipulation modified a court-ordered alimony award. The question was: May ...
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Under Pennsylvania law, which country has jurisdiction for a custody case?

In the case of S.K.C. v. J.L.C., 94 A.3d 402 (Pa. Super. 2014), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania dealt with proper jurisdiction to modify a Pennsylvania custody order for a 14 year old girl. The ...
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School bus service for PA children with shared custody

In a landmark decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Count dealt with parents who shared physical custody of a child and lived in the same school district. Father requested the school district to provide ...
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Enforcing a settlement agreement 7 years after the violation

Husband and Wife married back in 1988 and were divorced in 2003. As part of their divorce settlement, Husband agreed to pay Wife a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of stock from his business, ...
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Where to hold a custody trial in PA?

Courts may only decide cases that fall within their jurisdiction. "Jurisdiction" provides the boundaries for the court's reach. Venue determines the most convenient and appropriate ...
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PA Courts can modify Tennessee custody order

In the disturbing case of T.A.M. v. S.L.M., 104 A.3d 30 (Pa. Super 2014), Father and Mother shared custody in Tennessee from the child's birth in 2004 until Mother's disappearance in 2011. ...
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Big Change for Allegheny County PA family law

Family Division litigants in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania are now subject to a new requirement. As of June 22, 2015, all Motions must now include a certififcation that the litigants have "met ...
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War of the Roses: LA Style

What happens when two super-rich LA attorneys divorce? Super-drama, of course. The Feldstein-Gregora case features claims of envelopes stuffed with cash, rampant paranoia, secret overseas funds and ...
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Legal test to label someone as a child abuser.

In a recent superior court case (85 Pa. Super. 2014), the court was faced with the question of whether a mother committed child abuse upon her daughter. The facts of the case are awful. The young ...
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Custody and travel: A Superior Court decision

When a trial court makes a custody determination, it has the benefit of being present at the trial, assessing the credibility of witnesses personally etc. So, when an appeals court reviews a custody ...
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Inherited IRA's and bankruptcy

Retirement funds such as 401K's, IRAs and 403b accounts are generally protected in bankruptcy. That is, retirement accounts are not reachable by creditors but instead remain with the holder, even ...
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Case Notes: Attaching a disablity fund to pay Pennsylvania alimony

The issue of attaching a disability fund with a "non-attachment clause" in order to pay alimony was the subject of the recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case of Uveges v. Uveges, 103 A.3d ...
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Extension of a PFA: Case Notes

Question: When an existing Protection From Abuse Order is violated, must the PFA be extended? Answer: The PFA must be extended if the PFA is violated AND the Plaintiff asks for an extension at the ...
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Post high-school education expenses

Ordinarily, a divorcing parent has no legal obligation to pay for a child's college expenses. The theory is that we don't require intact families to pay for college, so how can we require ...
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Case Notes: Fraud and divorce - opening the divorce after the fact.

In the Allegheny County case of Kozel v. Kozel, 161 Pa Super 2014, the parties divorce was finalized in 2005. Later, Wife found out that Husband failed to disclose certain assets at the time of the ...
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Know your judge: Eleanor Bush

Eleanor Bush is a judge with the Family Division of the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas. Judge Bush has judicial suffix 001. If your case number ends with "001", you have Judge Bush. Judge ...
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Allegheny County Family Division Self-Help Center

The Allegheny County Pennsylvania Family Division Self-Help center opened in January 2014 to assist self-represented parties. Persons making less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guideline are ...
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Know your judge: Judge Mark V. Tranquilli

Judge Mark V. Tranquilli was elected on November 5, 2013 and his term expires in 2023. His "judicial suffix" is "011". So, if your case number were FD14-1234 011, then he would be ...
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Divorce and 529 College Savings Accounts

Parents have 4 primary options to accumulate college savings. This post will discuss one of those options ("529" accounts) and what to expect from the 529 accounts if the parties divorce. ...
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Case Notes: 16-factor custody analysis not always required in PA

In the case of M.O. v. J.T.R., 2014 Pa. Super. 15 (February 2014), the Pennsylvania Superior Court thankfully held that a trial court need not embark on the standard 16-factor custody analysis when ...
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Case Notes: Divorce and death

In the case of Tosi v. Kizis, 16 Pa. Super 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court determined that Wife could discontinue the parties divorce action after Husband died while awaiting the divorce trial. ...
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Case Notes: "Caretaker Doctrine" abolished

The "Caretaker Doctrine" provided that the "primary caretaker" of the child would maintain custody - so long as both parents were otherwise equally fit to raise the child. The 1982 ...
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Case Notes: Custody factors

In the case of C.B. v. J.B. and M.B. and T.B. , 65 A.3d 946 (Pa. Super 2013), the Pennsylvania Superior Court gave guidance to trial court judges in custody cases on applying the custody ...
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