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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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A Vetrano Family Lawyer Discusses: When are Post-Nuptial or Mid-Nuptial Agreements Appropriate?

Family lawyers are finding that couples are increasingly turning to post-nuptial agreements, sometimes referred to as mid-nuptial agreements, to deal with many issues that can arise during a marriage. A post-nuptial agreement differs from a pre-nuptial agreement because it is entered into during the marriage, not before. A post-nuptial agreement addresses issues that might not have existed at the time of the marriage. For example, a spouse that stands to gain an ownership interest in a business or inherit a large amount of money from his or her parents during the marriage may enter into a post-nuptial or mid-nuptial agreement to ensure that the business or inheritance remains in the family. Oftentimes, the parents of the spouse that stands to receive the ownership interest in a family business will condition the transfer of ownership on the signing of a post-nuptial agreement to ensure that the other spouse is not able[...]

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Wayne Family Law: Pennsylvania Reduces the Waiting Period to Obtain a Unilateral No-Fault Divorce from Two Years to One Year

The waiting period to move forward with a unilateral no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania when one party does not consent to the divorce has been reduced from two years to one year. This new law went into effect December 3, 2016. Act 102, signed into law by Governor Wolf on October 4, 2016, amends 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(d), which previously required the parties to live separate and apart for two years before moving forward with a divorce when one spouse does not consent. Now, parties will only need to live separate and apart for one year to obtain a divorce under 3301(d). When both parties consent to a divorce, they may still obtain a divorce on no-fault grounds under 23 Pa. C.S. 3301(c), which requires only a 90 day waiting period.

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