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Reasonable Needs Now to Be Considered in High-Income Child Support Cases

The recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Hanrahan v. Bakker, 186 A.3d 958 (Pa. 2018), a unanimous decision, and a case of first impression, changes the application of the high-income child support guidelines in Pennsylvania. Child support in Pennsylvania is governed by a statute and guidelines contained in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Proc...

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New Child Custody Law Opens Door a Bit for Grandparents, Third Parties

On July 4, a change to the child custody laws in Pennsylvania is set to impact standing for grandparents and third parties. Historically, grandparents have been given an elevated status with regard to child custody matters. Normally, only parents or people acting as parents (in loco parentis) are individuals who may seek custody of a child. Howeve...

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Court Examines the Impact of Retirement in Alimony Termination Case

Alimony is a post-divorce remedy that consists of a monthly payment from one spouse to the other that begins upon the entry of a divorce decree. If alimony is being paid pursuant to a provision in the parties’ property settlement agreement that is thereafter incorporated but not merged with the divorce decree divorcing the parties, the alimony pa...

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Take Three: In Loco Parentis Revisited for Third Time in a Year

In what is becoming one of the hottest topics in Pennsylvania Child Custody Law, in loco parentis took center stage before the Superior Court in the recent case of MJS v. BB v. BB, ___ A.3d ___, 2017 Pa. Super 327 (Oct. 17). This case is one of three cases to address in loco parentis status by a litigant in a child custody case recently. The r...

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Take Three: In Loco Parentis Revisited for Third Time in a Year

In what is becoming one of the hottest topics in Pennsylvania Child Custody Law, in loco parentis took center stage before the Superior Court in the recent case of MJS v. BB v. BB, ___ A.3d ___, 2017 Pa. Super 327 (Oct. 17). This case is one of three cases to address in loco parentis status by a litigant in a child custody case recently. The r...

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Same-Sex Partner Not Found a Parent and Not Found In Loco Parentis

With the evolution of same-sex marriage, the concerning issues that existed between same-sex couples in custody matters appeared to dissipate. However, in the recent case of C.G. v. J.H., the issue of standing in a child custody matter between same-sex partners has resurfaced and the result thereof has caused some concern. The recent case of C.G....

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Failure to Disclose and Constructive Trust in Divorce

For many family law practitioners, 23 Pa.C.S. Section 3505(d) is a safety blanket protecting their clients in situations where a party fails to disclose information regarding an asset or assets with a fair market value of $1,000.00 or more which results in that asset or assets being omitted from the final distribution of property in a divorce matte...

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Child Custody, Relocation, Contempt and Modification

Two of the most talked about ­issues among family law practitioners and the bench are child relocation cases and whether custody orders may be ­modified at contempt hearings. I've written numerous times on these issues. Over the years, there have been multiple cases from the state Superior Court that address these issues. Every so often, a case c...

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Support Order Based on Evidence Outside of Record Vacated

Within the last five years, the issue of evidence outside of the record being considered by the trial court was raised in an appeal from a custody order in CMP v. MP, 54 A.3 950 (Pa. Super. 212)). Recently, the case of Johnson v. Johnson, 153 A.3 318 (Pa. Super. 2016), was decided and the vacating and remanding of the order was based on a similar...

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In Loco Parentis Status Should Start With Consent

The recent case of K.W. v. S.L. and M.L. v. G.G., 2017 Pa. Super. 56 (March 6), addresses two important issues for family court practitioners and the bench to take note. First, it addresses the collateral order doctrine and then the issue of in loco parentis standing in child custody matters. In family law cases, practitioners and ­litigants are ...

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