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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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Main Line Family Lawyer Discusses: Dissipation of the Marital Estate is a Factor to be Considered at Equitable Distribution

When a spouse consumes marital property or causes its decrease in value during the marriage or after separation, the other spouse may have a claim for dissipation of the marital estate at equitable distribution. Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 3502, “the contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property” is one of the factors to be considered at equitable distribution, and should be discussed with your Main Line family lawyer.

If a spouse has consumed or caused the decrease in value of marital property during the marriage, the court may award the other spouse a greater percentage of the marital estate, or a dollar-for-dollar credit against the consumed asset. Examples of behavior that may support a potential dissipation claim include a wife that spends large amounts of marital money on a secret affair during the marriage, or a husband that withdraws all[...]

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