Top 10 Things You Should Know About Your Mortgage When Going Through a Divorce

June 1st, 2017


You may have many questions when going through a divorce; especially when real estate and mortgage financing are involved. Here are ten top things every divorcing couple should take into consideration when dealing with the marital home and/or other real estate.   Timing of Filing The Divorce Complaint. The timing of filing a divorce complaint with the court has a direct impact on mortgage financing. When a complaint for divorce is filed most mortgage lenders will require...




Create Your Own Digital Estate Plan

May 3rd, 2017


Do you know what will happen to your digital property (i.e. online accounts, social media accounts) when you pass away?   It is a good idea to create a plan which will help someone, your digital executor, update your online accounts and sites upon your passing.  In most states, a Digital Executor is not a legally binding or enforceable designation. Even so, you can still name a Digital Executor, as this person can be designated to follow the wishes laid out in your...




Don't Name Minors As Policy Beneficiaries

March 31st, 2017


Sometimes, seemingly minor oversights can have tremendous consequences.  Take life insurance, for instance.  Most of us tend to name our beneficiaries when we buy a policy… and then never give the matter another thought.  That could be a mistake. Example: One of the biggest mistakes is naming a minor as beneficiary.  On the surface, it makes sense to designate your children as beneficiaries, especially since you are buying the coverage to protect...




PCM Conference - April 21-22 2017

February 17th, 2017


2017 PCM Conference April 21-22, 2017 Hilton Harrisburg Practice Challenges in Mediation   ...




IS A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT NECESSARY?

July 31st, 2016


By Rochelle Bobman, Esquire             A Prenuptial Agreement (“ prenup”) or antenuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to marriage which provides for the division of property and spousal support/alimony in the event of divorce or death. It can also determine how finances will be handled during the marriage.In the absence of a prenup, property division and spousal support are governed by the Pennsylvania...




BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS NOT ALWAYS SIMPLE

June 6th, 2016


                The decision about how to designate beneficiaries for your company retirement plan, life insurance policies, and other assets might seem really simple.  Chances are you would like those near and dear to you to inherit any money you’ve accumulated during your lifetime, so making sure that happens should be as simple as writing their names on the appropriate forms,...




Second Saturday Divorce Workshop expands beyond Blue Bell

February 7th, 2016


Family therapist Jeannette Cutshaw leads a Second Saturday discussion for women facing the possibility of divorce. Submitted photo     By Gary Puleo, The Times...




Common Credit Report Issues

February 7th, 2016


COMMON CREDIT REPORT ISSUES RESULTING FROM DIVORCE           The divorce process can be very stressful, particularly when you are faced with significant marital debts. No matter what stage you find yourself in the process, you should take steps to protect your credit and credit score. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act allows consumers to obtain one free copy of their credit report on an annual from all three bureaus:...




Will And Estate Planning - Will Do's And Don'ts

February 7th, 2016


Don’ts Do not Designate a minor (child or otherwise) as the beneficiary of any life insurance policy, retirement plan, IRA, etc. By doing so, money will end up in a sequestered bank account, earning (currently) 1.5 percent interest.There are no withdrawals from the account without court approval.When the minor attains 18 years of age s/he gets 100 percent of the money. Do not die intestate - without a will Assets to which a minor is entitled will be held as...




DIVORCE AND BANKRUPTCY

December 21st, 2015


Many people cite divorce as the main reason for filing bankruptcy. If many of the couple’s debts are joint, and there are few assets that would be exempt under bankruptcy law, it is cost effective to file a joint bankruptcy to discharge marital debts. Bankruptcy filing fees are the same for joint and individual filings. Filing a joint bankruptcy with a spouse can save on filing fees and attorney’s fees, and it will allow double property exemptions.  If a couple owns a...




RIGHTS OF GRANDPARENTS UNDER PENNSYLVANIA CUSTODY LAW

December 21st, 2015


Grandparents custodial rights were clearly defined by the enactment of the 2011 custody statute and modifications to the Rules of Procedure. A grandparent may file for custody only if he or she is “in loco parentis” to the child (acting as parent to the child), or if he or she can prove that the relationship with the child began with the consent of the parent of the child or pursuant to a court order and one of the following circumstances exist: the child resided with the...




REMOVING A SPOUSE’S NAME FROM A MORTGAGE OBLIGATION

December 21st, 2015


When spouses who are jointly obligated on a mortgage are going through a divorce, options with regard to the existing mortgage are very limited. A refinance by one spouse will effectively remove the other spouse from the mortgage obligation and may result in a cash buyout if there is sufficient equity in the home. Sale to a third party may be the only other option if there is insufficient equity or the spouse who wishes to stay in the home does not qualify for a mortgage...




THIS INTERESTING ARTICLE ABOUT COLLABORATIVE LAW WAS IN THE INQUIRER A FEW WEEKS AGO

July 27th, 2015


By Debra Denison Cantor and Ann V. Levin While many associate the word divorce with painful and messy, a new emphasis on conflict resolution has led to a specialty known as "collaborative divorce." Gaining traction in Pennsylvania as well as being part of an international movement, collaborative divorce is saving clients time, heartache, and often thousands of dollars. Under collaborative law, both parties retain separate, specially trained lawyers...




Holidays and Vacations

May 18th, 2015


Most Custody Agreements provide for an odd/even year designation with regard to holidays and special events. This helps the parents and the court, if necessary, keep track of who has custody for a particular holiday for a given year and provides the parents with the ability to make plans in advance.  The Custody Agreement should always provide that the holiday schedule take priority over the regular weekday and vacation schedule....




CONTINUING OBLIGATION TO REPORT CHANGES IN INCOME

May 11th, 2015


If you are paying support through a domestic relations department, you have an affirmative duty to report in writing material changes in income.  If you are receiving support paid through a domestic relations department, you should file a Petition to Modify immediately after learning of any misrepresentation in income by the other party. Delay in filing this Petition could mean loss of retroactivity to a date prior to the filing of the Petition.  Further, the Court has...




Parenting Plan Guide Arizona Supreme Court

November 15th, 2014


This guide for parenting time is intended to provide helpful  ideas in making decisions about parenting time. A parenting  plan is a document that states when the children will be with  each parent (parenting time) and how major decisions will be  made (legal custody). This guide provides sample plans for  parents to use in reaching agreements or presenting proposals  to the court. Attorneys, mental health professionals, mediators,  and judges may also find...




Governor Signs New Law Promoting Divorce with Dignity

September 24th, 2014


This week, Governor Chris Christie signed the NJ Family Collaborative Law Act, S-1224/A-1477 (Weinberg/Diegnan), empowering families to divorce with dignity and self-esteem, without resort to conventional litigation.   Widely praised, the new bipartisan law passed all legislative committees and both Houses without a single ‘no’ vote. Passage of the new law was spearheaded by the New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups and its eight practice groups, consisting...




Collaborative Divorce Bill Cleared by Committee, Heads to Full N.J. Senate

June 12th, 2014


New Jersey is moving closer to a method of divorce fashioned in meeting rooms rather than courtrooms. A bill passed unanimously by the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday would allow divorcing spouses to hire legal counsel trained in collaborative practices to resolve their cases less litigiously and so less expensively.Couples could have a marriage dissolved without court intervention through a process similar to mediation, in which both sides would be...




Children of Divorce

June 2nd, 2014


I’ve been doing a lot of weddings recently that involve children from previous marriages.  I wrote this piece to serve as a reminder to parents who divorce to be hyper-vigilant in helping children to process their experience of the family breakup.   I had feedback from a friend who was reluctant to pass this article along to her friend who is getting divorced because she felt my language was too "dire". I think parents need a real wakeup call to look below the surface of the...




RIGHTS OF GRANDPARENTS UNDER PENNSYLVANIA CUSTODY LAW

April 21st, 2014


Grandparents’ custodial rights were clearly defined by the enactment of the 2011 custody statute and modifications to the Rules of Procedure. A grandparent may file for custody only if he or she is “in loco parentis” to the child (acting as parent to the child), or if he or she can prove that the relationship with the child began with the consent of the parent of the child or pursuant to a court order and one of the following circumstances exist: the child resided with the...




Preserving Text Messages for Use in Court

March 19th, 2014


"...In family law, parties frequently have to prove what information has been exchanged between two spouses.  When the parties communicate via letter or e-mail, it is easy to produce reliable evidence: just photocopy the letter or print the e-mail message.  Text messages, however, are not quite so easy.  It is not practical to physically take a cell phone into court, and it is certainly not possible to send a cell phone to an adverse attorney during discovery.  Given the...




PENNSYLVANIA CHILD CUSTODY LAW

February 9th, 2014


Pennsylvania has always used the “best interest of the child” test as the guiding principle in making custody determinations. In 2011, the custody laws in Pennsylvania were changed. Although the courts use the “best interest of the child” test, the new statute, and rules of procedure which became effective in 2013, require the court to consider 15 factors when awarding custody, in addition to any relevant factor. Furthermore, the presumption that “custody should be awarded to a...




DIVORCE AND BANKRUPTCY

February 5th, 2014


Many people cite divorce as the main reason for filing bankruptcy. If many of the couple’s debts are joint, and there are few assets that would not be exempt under bankruptcy law, it is cost effective to file a joint bankruptcy to discharge marital debts. Bankruptcy filing fees are the same for joint and individual filings. Filing a joint bankruptcy with a spouse can save on filing fees and attorney’s fees, and it will allow double property exemptions.  If a couple owns a primary...




OPTIONS TO AVOID FORECLOSURE

February 1st, 2014


Some of the most common questions homeowners want answers to when behind on mortgage payments are: how much longer can I remain in the house, can I modify the loan, is a short sale available to me, and which option is better for my credit rating. The following are good options to consider if you have received formal notice of foreclosure from your lender:1. Refinance: If a homeowner has equity in the house and good credit, refinance is the best option.2. Reinstatement: If a homeowner has the...




What is Collaborative Law

January 26th, 2014


What is “collaborative law” or “collaborative practice?” The term “collaborative law” was the term first used for a dispute resolution process in which two lawyers and their clients signed a participation agreement limiting the scope of the lawyers’ representation to negotiating settlement of a legal matter and requiring both parties to retain new lawyers if either party went to court to resolve the matter. As the process developed, and if the parties agree, mental health...




COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE – ETHICS OF CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION TO WITHDRAW

January 9th, 2014


The practice of Collaborative law (CL) is increasingly recognized as one option available to clients in a spectrum of legal services and dispute resolution processes.  The Uniform Law Commission enacted the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) on July 15, 2009, to establish uniformity in the practice of CL and to address ethical issues for lawyers inherent in this practice.              Unique to CL is the...




American Society of Legal Advocates

December 16th, 2013


Congratulations! On behalf of the American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA), it is our privilege to inform you that you have been selected as one of the Top 100 Family lawyers in the State of Pennsylvania for 2014 and are eligible for membership in ASLA. ASLA is an invitation-only legal organization comprised of the nation's most skilled lawyers. It was founded with one central purpose — to identify and help promote only the most outstanding legal talent throughout the country. With this...