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Tax Ramifications and Costs in Equitable Distribution

The recent Superior Court case of Balicki v. Balicki has sent shock waves throughout the family law community. The question family law practitioners face is whether the Balicki decision mandates the court to apply tax ramifications and the costs of sale to all assets when equitably dividing the marital estate. In 2005, the Pennsylvania Divorce Cod...

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Local Customs and Practices Cannot Determine Custody Cases

Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has published two opinions reiterating the well-established case law mandating a fact-specific analysis of the children's best interests by the court in deciding custody disputes as opposed to relying on local custom, practice or judicial norms. The most recent case on this issue is the 2010 state Superior ...

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Late Custody Case 1925(b) Statement Deemed Waived on Appeal

The 2010 Superior Court case J.P. vs. S.P. is a reminder of the importance of complying with a court order directing the filing of a Rule 1925(b) Concise Statement of Errors Complained of on Appeal. As held by the Superior Court in the present case, failure to follow such an order will result in a waiver of all matters complained of on appeal, whic...

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Jurisdiction and Inconvenient Forum Under the UCCJEA

Issues pertaining to exclusive continuing jurisdiction and inconvenient forum in child custody cases are often hot topics among family law practitioners. Recently, the case of A.D v. M.A.B., addressed both of these issues. Because Pennsylvania adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) a number of years ago, matter...

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Enforcing Mortgage Payment Provision in a Postnuptial Agreement

The recent case of Miller v. Miller raises interesting issues for the family law practitioner. Generally, the Miller case pertains to a postnuptial agreement entered between the parties, which included a provision that the husband should pay for the mortgage, taxes and insurance on the marital residence until the marital residence was sold. The f...

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Calculating Child Support: Private School, Stock Options, Perks and 401Ks

The recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case of Murphy v. McDermott provides the family law practitioner with reminders and clarifications as to calculating a party's income for support purposes. The Murphy case focuses on four main issues: whether a parent should be obligated to contribute toward private school tuition; whether one-time stock optio...

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Entire Amount of Attorney Fees Request Warranted in Child Support Case

On April 8, 2008, The Legal Intelligencer published my article regarding the Pennsylvania Superior Court case of Krebs v. Krebs (hereafter referred to as Krebs I). Krebs I pertained to retroactively modifying a child support order prior to the filing of a petition to modify a support order. In Krebs I , the Pennsylvania Superior Court remanded the ...

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Court Orders Attorney Fees in Child Custody Contempt Case

The recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case of Hopkins v. Byes reiterates that it may be appropriate for a trial court to order attorney fees against a party found in contempt for failing to follow a child custody order. Hopkins v. Byes is a custody case that arose in Erie County, Pa. The relevant facts of the case are as follows: Sonya Byes and Jo...

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Best Interest of Child Paramount in Denial Of Relocation Petition

The recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case of Speck v. Spadafore reiterates that in a child-custody relocation case the best interest of the child is paramount. The Superior Court vacated the trial court's order granting the mother's petition to relocate from York County, near Harrisburg, to Butler County, near Pittsburgh. In Speck, the parties, C...

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Nonbiological Grandparents Granted Standing in Child Custody Case

The recent and important Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Peters v. Costello has already sparked debates among Pennsylvania family law practitioners. The Peters case is the first of its kind. In the case, the Supreme Court held that nonbiological grandparents who stand in loco parentis to one of the parents of the child with respect to whom they ...

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