“How can I change my child’s school” – School Choice and Custody Issues
August 28, 2018 By Elizabeth C. Early, Esquire Every spring and summer, custody attorneys and the custody courts see a drastic increase in the amount of cases brought to the court for consideration regarding where the parties’ children will attend school in the next year. “School choice” cases, as those cases are typically called, are […]
New Grandparent and Third-Party Custody Law
August 1, 2018 By Brittany M. Yurchyk As of July 2018 a new law regarding grandparent and third party child rights took full effect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Act 21 of 2018 expands the categories of people able to request custody of a child through the courts. Act 21 also clarifies when grandparents can […]
Alcohol Abuse and Custody: What Safeguards are Available?
May 2, 2018 By Elizabeth C. Early A straightforward custody case can be made extremely complex and contentious when accusations are raised regarding alcohol use and abuse. Regardless of whether the concerns are legitimate or not, alcohol use that may have been problematic, but tolerated while a relationship was intact, becomes magnified many times over […]
Proceed with Caution: Parental Alienation – When the Accuser Becomes the Accused
March 20, 2018 By Brittany Yurchyk Parental alienation is one of the most complex custody issues our clients face. When a co-parent systematically manipulates your child to reject you, it is beyond terrifying. If the behavior is severe, it can have irreversible negative effects on your child’s psyche and development. However, before running into court […]
Top 10 Tips for Child Custody Issues
January 9, 2018 By Melissa M. Boyd Child custody issues are some of the most difficult to deal with no matter the marital status of the parents. The High Swartz Domestic Relations team knows that every case is different, and the people involved in these cases may feel vulnerable and overwhelmed. Each of us has […]
“The Grinch that Stole My Custody”
December 29, 2017 By Elizabeth C. Early An often unforeseen complication of separation or divorce is the highly emotional decision of who has custody of your children over the major holidays. It is natural to feel mixed emotions as you approach the holiday season: excitement over the holidays coupled with sadness and perhaps some resentment […]
I Need a Family Law Attorney for my Pennsylvania Divorce/Support/Custody Case – Where Do I Even Begin?
November 28, 2017 By Elizabeth C. Early Many individuals involved in a lawsuit realize at one point or another that they need the guidance of an attorney. The court system is a complex structure involving state procedural rules, local procedural rules, statutes as well as the practices and preferences for each decision maker. Our court […]
What Does “Earning Capacity” Mean and Why Does it Matter for my Support Case?
August 1, 2017 By Elizabeth C. Early When a marriage is ending, one of the first issues that must be addressed is the amount of support payments that must be paid. The first task in calculating support, whether it be spousal support, alimony pendente lite or child support, is calculating the parties’ income available for […]
5 Things You Need to Know About Social Media and Divorce
June 20, 2017 By Melissa M. Boyd Social media is a constant presence in our lives. It has become a forum for us to catch up with friends across distances, share our triumphs large and small, and feel more connected to family. As such, social networking can be a positive experience. Yet it can be […]
When Counseling Perpetuates Abuse
April 18, 2017 As family law attorneys we often take for granted that the paperwork required by the Court in order to begin a divorce action is simply administrative “filler.” We often tell clients that the counseling notice we are required to file with a divorce complaint is a formality and is never utilized. But […]
If you have children and you are getting married, you need a premarital agreement. Why not make it Romantic?
March 15, 2017 By Mary Cushing Doherty When a couple is marrying, if either fiancé is a single parent or divorcee, friends may suggest they sign a prenuptial agreement. A premarital agreement need not be a divorce plan. The quick brushoff that this suggestion is offensive could be misplaced. Why not write a prenuptial agreement […]
Romantic Premarital Agreements: Solving the Planning Issues Without “The D Word”
March 10, 2017 By Mary Cushing Doherty This post originally appeared in the Journal of the AAML, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2016. I. INTRODUCTION When a couple is planning to marry, either or both may be urged by friends, family, a financial advisor and/or business partner to consult an attorney to prepare a premarital agreement. […]
Mediation: Protect What you Bargain For
February 28, 2017 Strengths and Weaknesses of Non-Attorney Guided Mediation Divorce mediation is an out-of-court dispute resolution tool that helps separating couples who want to amicably settle their issues with minimal involvement of the legal system. A good mediator is one who will guide the spouses during their negotiations, facilitate meaningful dialogue and point the […]
Can I Expunge My Protection From Abuse Order?
February 21, 2017 By Elizabeth Early A question that we commonly hear from litigants who are defending or have defended against a Petition for a Protection from Abuse Order is whether the Order can be expunged from their record. The answer is: that depends on how far through the legal system the Protection from Abuse […]
Reducing No-Fault Divorce Separation to One Year: The Significant Impact on Divorcing Couples with Business Interests
January 26, 2017 By Mary Cushing Doherty Before Pennsylvania’s Act 102 became law in late 2016, parties to a divorce in most Pennsylvania counties were unable to meet with a divorce Master until they had established grounds. Without both parties filing Consents to the divorce, the delay put the business owner’s livelihood at risk. To […]
Gov. Wolf Signs Act 102 – Reducing No-fault Divorce from 2 years to 1 year
October 26, 2016 By: Mary Cushing Doherty and Chandel Boozer On Oct. 4, 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Act 102, formerly known as HB380. Act 102 will reduce the waiting period for no-fault divorce from two years to one. Reducing the waiting period allows a spouse to attain a divorce without getting consent […]
Moving Forward in the New Normal: Navigating Custody with Teenagers
July 8, 2016 Many times after a divorce is final and custody is negotiated, families may experience challenges once their children become teenagers. Teens have busy social lives and activity calendars which can make it tricky for them to follow a schedule that was previously put in place. When issues with visitation schedules begin, it […]
Commonly Asked Q&A for Child Support
April 26, 2016 By: Elizabeth Early One of the most commonly asked questions that I hear from new clients is: “How is child support calculated?” When parties transition from a shared household income to two separate, individual incomes, it is natural for both parties to feel anxious about just how much they will be expected […]
Reasons for Adjusting Child Support Payments in Pennsylvania Family Law Cases
March 30, 2016 By: Melissa Boyd Shortly after getting married, you and your spouse agree that you will leave your job to be at home with the family. Ten years later, you and your spouse decide to separate. The court awards you child support. After a few years, you experience life changes that make the […]
Calculating Child Support in Pennsylvania When Income Varies or Changes
March 25, 2016 By: Melissa Boyd Child support in Pennsylvania divorce cases is dependent upon a large number of factors governed by rules also known as Pennsylvania Support Guidelines. Those domestic relations guidelines dictate the amount of child support which a spouse or parent should pay based on the income of both of their net […]