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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 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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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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Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman Family Attorney Discusses School Choice

The family attorneys at Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman can help you resolve the selection of an appropriate school for your child. School selection is a legal custody issue which requires agreement of both parties, and in the absence of both parties’ agreement a Court Order. In particular, this can become an issue when the parties share physical custody of their child(ren) and live in different school districts, because the child(ren) are permitted to be enrolled in either school district. This issue may also apply when child(ren) are enrolled in public school, and private school is believed to be a better choice, or if the child(ren) are currently enrolled in private school, and public school is better able to meet their needs.

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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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