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Do Both Spouses Need A Divorce Lawyer?

When a couple decides to divorce, the first step often involves both spouses retaining separate lawyers. But do both spouses need a divorce lawyer? In Pennsylvania, the Rules of Professional Conduct say that an attorney shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if the representation of one client will be directly adverse to that of another client. In the family law context, this means that an attorney cannot represent both a husband and a wife or a mother and father at the same time in a divorce, support, or custody matter. This rule applies to premarital agreements as well; an attorney cannot represent both parties in drafting a premarital agreement because their interests are ultimately adverse to each other; one gets rights that the other gives up.

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Vetrano Family Lawyer Discusses Changes to Alimony Under New Tax Law

As we approach the deadline to file 2018 taxes, our family lawyers stress the importance of being aware of the new tax law changes that went into effect under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and how those changes affect your taxes going forward. This is particularly true if you recently went through a divorce, or are in the process of getting divorced. Prior to January 1, 2019, pursuant to IRS rules, alimony paid to a former spouse was deductible by the payor and reportable as income by the recipient, as long as certain IRS requirements regarding those payments were met. And, as long as you and your spouse had a signed “divorce or separation agreement” in place prior to December 31, 2018, these rules still apply going forward. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, however, the alimony deduction has been eliminated. This means that[...]

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Family Lawyer Explains How The Hague Convention “Right of Access” Allows Foreign Parents to Seek Custody in Pennsylvania State Court

The Hague Convention is an international treaty that many countries, including the United States, are party to. The primary purpose of the Hague Convention is to protect children from international abduction by one parent by enabling the courts to ensure the prompt return of the child to their country of habitual residence.

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Main Line Family Law Attorney Explains that Children May Now Have Standing to Enforce Their Parents’ Marital Settlement Agreements

In the recent case of Weber v. Weber, No. 1312 WDA 2016, the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that a father and mother’s college-aged son was permitted to bring suit to enforce his parents’ settlement agreement that required them to share equally in the reasonable cost of his college education.

Marital settlement agreements between parents often contain payment provisions that affect the children. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has explicitly refused to allow children to sue their parents to enforce child support provisions of the parents’ marital settlement agreement. In doing so, the Supreme Court has relied on a on a public policy rationale, stating that this would open a “Pandora’s Box,” where every child of divorced parents whose settlement agreement contained a provision for child support would bring suit against their parents.

In Weber, however, the Superior found that a child may be permitted to bring suit against his/her parents to enforce[...]

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Bryn Mawr Family Law Attorney Explains New Pennsylvania Public Access Policy Addressing Access to Court Records which Goes into Effect January 6, 2018

On January 6, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted a new policy addressing access to trial and appellate court records throughout Pennsylvania. This policy will go into effect on January 6, 2018. It addresses who can access certain court records, and restricts certain types of information from being accessed at all.

There is a general presumption that most court records are open to the public, with several exceptions. Historically, the only way to access court records was to go down to the courthouse to access the files that you wanted to see. However, because more and more counties are making dockets and docket entries available to the general public online, along with concerns about privacy and identity theft, there is a growing need to address what type of information is available to the general public.

This new policy addresses the accessibility of records by the public, including how to obtain records and[...]

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