Category: Personal / Family

Parenting Coordinators: A Good Concept Gone Awry?

Courtroom angst often rises to extreme heights in proceedings involving custody of children.  Most of these cases are ancillary to divorce actions which have the parents embittered before they ever walk into the courtroom. Add to that the parties’ fear of having custody of their… Continue reading

Supporting Indigent Parents

Supporting Indigent Parents  In our Winter 2011 issue we discussed a 1994 case where a child was ordered to pay $125 per month to the child’s parent’s health care provider, under Pennsylvania’s “Support of the Indigent” law.  That statute has again been in the news… Continue reading

Paternity by Estoppel?

In a legal proceeding involving the paternity of a child, one of the strongest presumptions at law is that, absent some irrefutable and clear evidence to the contrary, the child will be deemed to be the natural child of the husband.  Until recently in applying… Continue reading

Beneficiary Designations and Divorce

One potential consideration of divorcing spouses is changing beneficiary designations on insurance policies, IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.   Usually, this is simply a clerical change that can be done by revising a beneficiary designation form.    Notwithstanding the ease of completing such forms, historically many divorced individuals failed… Continue reading

A Charter School Limitation

The concept of the charter school is relatively recent; it has grown from the belief of many that the public schools are failing to provide the education they should and that the privately-owned charter school will provide a superior experience.  There is also the expectation… Continue reading

A Child’s Duty to Support a Parent

It is well known that parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children at least through the age of 18 or graduation from high school, whichever comes later.  A less well known topic concerns whether adult children have a reciprocal obligation to support… Continue reading

Recent Animal Rights Rulings

Recent Animal Rights Rulings The Case of the “Gothic Cat”.  By statute in Pennsylvania it is a crime to maim, mutilate, torture or disfigure an animal.  In Commonwealth v. Crawford a woman was sentenced to six months of home confinement and electronic monitoring for violating… Continue reading

Family Law Update: Changes in Custody Laws

In November 2010, former Governor Rendell signed a new custody law that went into effect in January of this year.  The purpose of the new law is to modernize custody laws in the Commonwealth, which most practitioners agreed were long outdated, and to create a… Continue reading

Pardon v. Expungement

Governor Ed Rendell will be leaving the Governor’s Mansion next month to make way for Governor Elect Tom Corbett.  One of the Governor’s powers is to grant pardons of convicted criminals.   Usually a change in the executive administration brings with it a rash of pardons… Continue reading

The Terri Schiavo Story Five Years Later, Still an Avoidable Tragedy

It is hard to believe that it has been five years since a court battle erupted in Florida in which a severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo,  passed away while in hospice care. She died nearly ten days after her feeding tube was ordered removed from her… Continue reading