By: Lindsay Hanifan Childs, Esquire Any time someone wants to change his or her name, and the change is not due to a marriage or divorce, that person must file a petition with the court to seek permission for the name change. Due to a risk of fraud and the fear that some individuals may try to change their names to avoid creditors or other liabilities, the courts have discretion on whether or not to grant the requested name change. The courts also have discretion to deny a requested name change if it would lead to difficulty with identification or if the change has an offensive connotation. For adults, the standard that the court follows is whether the name change comports “with good sense, common decency and fairness to all concerned and to the public.” Petition of Falcucci, 50 A.2d 200 (Pa. 1947).
Research shows that when parents live in separate households, children do best when parents encourage regular contact with the other parent, maintain a predictable custody schedule, and communicate with each other regarding the child’s routines, education, and discipline. Current research on child development and psychology has led the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to publish a set of Child Centered Residential Guidelines, which provides parents, attorneys, judges, mediators, and therapists with sample custody schedules and parenting plans for each stage of a child’s development. While the Child Centered Residential Guidelines provide a framework for custody schedules, the attorneys at Vetrano|Vetrano & Feinman recognize that there are many variations of custody schedules to fit what is appropriate for our clients and their children. As attorneys, we are prepared to argue on behalf of our clients for a custody schedule that fits the wishes of our client and the best interests of the[...]
Montgomery County Family Lawyer Discusses Taxes and Divorce: Issues to Raise with Your Accountant or Other Tax Professional
This time of year, many Americans will begin preparing their state and federal income tax returns. However, filing your taxes after a divorce or separation may be more difficult than when you were in an intact marriage. While we do not provide tax advice, the family lawyers at Vetrano|Vetrano and Feinman LLC can highlight questions you should discuss with your accountant or other tax professional. The first consideration is your filing status. In Pennsylvania, we do not have a legal separation. Therefore, the only filing statuses available are single, married filing separately, married filing jointly or head of household. The single tax filing status is only available to individuals who are divorced or were never married. If you are separated, you must use one of the other three statuses. Family lawyers work with our clients (and the clients’ tax professionals) to consider the tax consequences of a support or equitable distribution[...]
Family Law Firm Discusses Changes Surrounding the Waiting Period for a Unilateral Divorce and Proposed Reduction from Two Years to One Year
Vetrano|Vetrano & Feinman LLC is a family law firm based in King of Prussia and is proud to say they are at the forefront of the latest legal developments and potential changes to the law. The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Family Law Section created a Task Force to recommend legislation that would reduce the waiting period for a unilateral, no-fault divorce from two years to one. The impetus for the Task Force was the realization that longer, drawn out divorces can have a severely negative effect on families, especially on children whose parents are separating. Although the legislative process has been slow, much progress has been made over the last year, and House Bill 380 is now being considered by the Pennsylvania Senate.
A Divorce Attorney Near Philadelphia Can Help Resolve Holiday Custody Schedules for Children of Separated Parents
Many “emergencies” arise around the winter holidays when divorced or separated parents realize at the last minute that they do not agree on how their custody time with their children should be divided for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas. Most custody orders entered by the court will provide for a holiday schedule in which the parents alternate certain holidays and specify the start and end times for those holidays. This is true even if the parties do not share custody on an equal basis. But sometimes parents enter into custody agreements that vaguely state that they will “alternate major holidays,” and other times they have no written custody agreement at all because they have been able to work everything out so far. Philadelphia area-based Vetrano|Vetrano & Feinman LLC can provide guidance from an experienced divorce attorney on how to proceed with managing your child’s holiday visits with each parent. This leaves the[...]