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Vetrano Family Attorney Discusses Validity of Friend-Officiated Weddings

Many couples today are asking their friends or family members to officiate their weddings. For some, it is based on a desire to include someone that knows both spouses personally. For others, it is because they do not want to have a religious ceremony or get married in a courthouse. Whatever the reason, the couple believes that the friend or family member has the authority to make their marriage official. That person went through an application process online, paid a fee, and obtained a certificate stating they he or she is ordained as a minister, so the marriage must be valid, right? Not necessarily. You might want to check with a family attorney. My Friend Officiated Our Wedding – Is Our Marriage Valid? As of today, there is no clear-cut answer on whether an officiant who was “ordained” online qualifies as a someone who is “authorized to solemnize”[...]

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The Return of Parenting Coordination in Pennsylvania

Parenting Coordination is a process whereby a neutral third party is appointed to help resolve discrete issues between parties in a custody case. It has been utilized in cases where parents (or other custodial caregivers) have frequent disagreements about non-emergency issues that repeatedly end up before the court. If the parenting coordinator is unable to help the parties reach an agreement, then he or she is given the authority to make a decision about how the disagreement should be resolved, thus decreasing the need for parties to litigate minor custody disputes in court. The benefits to parenting coordination include speed and cost: a parenting coordinator is able to make a decision much quicker than it would take to go through the court system, and it ends up costing the parties less than if they each had to pay an attorney to represent them in court. [...]

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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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