As Main Line family law attorneys, we know that when a divorce is pending, clients are often confused as to whether they are considered “married” or “divorced” for tax filing purposes. Since there is no “legal separation” document that is filed in Pennsylvania, you are not considered divorced in Pennsylvania until a divorce decree is issued by the Court. Thus, even if you are separated, you are still considered “married” for tax filing, and other, purposes. Tax filing status is determined based on an individual’s status on the last day of the year (December 31st). If no divorce decree has been issued, then that individual would still be considered “married” for tax filing purposes, and thereby, able to file their taxes either as “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” However, if the divorce decree issues on December 31st, then that person will not be able to file jointly with their[...]
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[...]
Family lawyers are finding that couples are increasingly turning to post-nuptial agreements, sometimes referred to as mid-nuptial agreements, to deal with many issues that can arise during a marriage. A post-nuptial agreement differs from a pre-nuptial agreement because it is entered into during the marriage, not before. A post-nuptial agreement addresses issues that might not have existed at the time of the marriage. For example, a spouse that stands to gain an ownership interest in a business or inherit a large amount of money from his or her parents during the marriage may enter into a post-nuptial or mid-nuptial agreement to ensure that the business or inheritance remains in the family. Oftentimes, the parents of the spouse that stands to receive the ownership interest in a family business will condition the transfer of ownership on the signing of a post-nuptial agreement to ensure that the other spouse is not able[...]
Wayne Family Law: Pennsylvania Reduces the Waiting Period to Obtain a Unilateral No-Fault Divorce from Two Years to One Year
The waiting period to move forward with a unilateral no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania when one party does not consent to the divorce has been reduced from two years to one year. This new law went into effect December 3, 2016. Act 102, signed into law by Governor Wolf on October 4, 2016, amends 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(d), which previously required the parties to live separate and apart for two years before moving forward with a divorce when one spouse does not consent. Now, parties will only need to live separate and apart for one year to obtain a divorce under 3301(d). When both parties consent to a divorce, they may still obtain a divorce on no-fault grounds under 23 Pa. C.S. 3301(c), which requires only a 90 day waiting period.
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.