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Can a Grandparent File for Custody of a Grandchild?

We often hear the question, “Can a grandparent file for custody of a grandchild?” It may seem obvious that parents can file to obtain custody of their child or children. But the question often arises about who else is permitted to do so. On one end of the spectrum is a random stranger, who cannot even file a complaint or petition with the court asking for custody of a child. On the other end of the spectrum is a person who stands in loco parentis to the child, which means that he or she has essentially acted as the child’s parent in all regards, taking on full parenting responsibilities with the consent of the actual parents, and who is permitted to file for custody of the child. But there is a gray area in between, which is where many grandparents today stand.

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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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