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Main Line Family Law Attorney Explains: What is Alimony and How is it Calculated?

Alimony is financial support that one spouse is ordered to pay to the other after the entry of a final divorce decree. In general, the spouse that earns more money should expect to pay some alimony to the spouse that earns less money, but that is not always the case. And the amount of the alimony award and how long it will be paid depends on many things, and an experienced Main Line family law attorney will help pursue your best interests. Under Pennsylvania law, the amount and duration of alimony payments are decided by the court after considering a list of 17 factors, including the relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties, the duration of the marriage, the parties’ ages, the relative assets and liabilities of the parties, and the relative needs of the parties. Because of all of the factors that the court must consider, an award of[...]

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A Main Line Family Lawyer Answers the Question: How do I Find Hidden Assets and Other Financial Information in a Divorce?

One of the questions that new clients often ask our Main Line family lawyers is how they will be able to find out information about their spouse or partner’s income and assets. Sometimes this concern arises because the other spouse was the one that handled all of the finances during the marriage so there is a lack of access to files, and sometimes it arises because of a belief that the partner or spouse has been hiding or secreting money away somewhere. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Divorce Code provides for formal discovery of such information.

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Main Line Family Law Attorney Discusses: How Long does a Child Support Obligation Last?

  In Pennsylvania, parents have a duty to financially support their children until they become emancipated.  Emancipation occurs when the child turns 18 years old and graduates from high school, whichever occurs last.  This means that when parents are going through a divorce and one parent has a child support obligation to the other, that obligation can continue long past the finalization of the divorce. But once a child is close to the age of emancipation, the court will send the custodial parent an “emancipation inquiry,” asking for confirmation of when the child will be graduating from high school and turning 18 years old.  Depending on which county your case is taking place in, after they receive confirmation of the emancipation the court might automatically terminate the child support order if there was only one child on the order. If there are other children that remain on the order, the court might[...]

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Wayne Family Law Attorney Discusses Prenuptial or Premarital Agreements

Many people get engaged over the winter holidays or around Valentine’s Day. If you or anyone that you knew got engaged over the past few months, then you may be wondering, “is a prenuptial agreement necessary?” Although the Pennsylvania Divorce Code has been written to protect the interests of both high-wage earning spouses and financially-dependent spouses in the event of a divorce, there are many situations in which family law attorneys recommend a prenuptial agreement. For example, if one spouse has an interest in a family business, children from a prior marriage, or the potential for a large inheritance or trust distribution, then a prenuptial agreement can help protect those interests even further. When deciding whether or not you should sign a prenuptial agreement, which can also be called a premarital agreement, the most important thing that you can do is learn about what your rights and obligations would be in[...]

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The Impact of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act on Custody & Support Cases

By: Lindsay Hanifan Childs, Esquire *As published in Pennsylvania Family Lawyer, Volume 38, Issue No. 2. at page 97. There had been signs that a statewide change would be coming to Pennsylvania regarding laws on marijuana use and possession. In addition to increased lobbying and public support for the legalization of marijuana, local governments had been laying the groundwork for such legislation. On October 1, 2014, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana was decriminalized in Philadelphia by ordinance signed by Mayor Michael Nutter.  That ordinance replaced criminal penalties with a civil fine of $25 for such possession.  Next, on December 22, 2015, Pittsburgh’s Mayor, Bill Peduto, signed a law that reduced the penalties for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana.  That law provides for a civil fine of up to $100, instead of a misdemeanor criminal charge.

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