Divorce and Property Division: Are “Professional Degrees” Marital Property?

When you are going through the divorce process in Pennsylvania, any marital property you own with your spouse is potentially property that could be shared with your spouse through the process of “equitable distribution.” The key question is whether a piece of property counts as marital property in a given situation. Let’s take a situation  … Read More

Custody and the “Dependent Child” Tax Deduction

When parties go through a separation in Pennsylvania, there is an often an issue or question about who claims a tax deduction for the dependent child or children. As you might guess, the issue of the tax deduction depends in partly on who gets what amount of custodial time. A general rule of thumb is  … Read More

Exemptions from Pennsylvania’s Inheritance Tax: Advancements

Those interested in the inheritance process need to know about Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax. The tax is imposed as a percentage assigned to the value of a decedent’s estate passed to beneficiaries of a will. The rates of the inheritance tax are as follows: • 0 percent on transfers to a surviving spouse or to a  … Read More

Child Custody in Pennsylvania: Factors to Consider during a Relocation

Sometimes there comes a point where a parent wants to relocate from Pennsylvania to another part of the state—or another part of the country. When there is a custody agreement involved, relocation presents special issues that the moving parent should be made aware of. First, the party seeking to move must provide notice of the  … Read More

Violations of Parole and Probation in Pennsylvania: “Gagnon II” Hearings and Sanctions

If an individual on supervision in Pennsylvania commits a new criminal offense, or violates a condition of supervision, that person is subject to further potential penalties. “Supervision” in this context refers to those on probation or parole. One possibility is the imposition of a “detainer” to hold the person in prison until the underlying violation  … Read More

Mortgage Foreclosures and the “Soldiers and Sailors Act”

The mortgage foreclosure process contains many ins and outs that a homeowner needs to be aware of. One of these is the potential relief for those in military service under the Soldiers and Sailors Act undergoing issues with not only mortgage foreclosure, but also certain other debts as well. The Soldiers and Sailors Act provides  … Read More

Laws that Protect Consumers Part I: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Unfair Practices

Under both state and federal laws, there are a number of statutes that apply to, and protect, individual consumers. One such important law is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The FDCPA acts to regulate the relationship between creditors and debtors, and specifies what kind of conduct is improper for a creditor to take.  … Read More

Standing for Custody: Who can File for Custody in Pennsylvania and the Rights of Grandparents and Great-Grandparents

There are many situations where one party seeks to file for custody of a child, but is not the biological parent of the child. Pennsylvania law provides that parties other than the parent can file for custody in certain situations. The statute draws a distinction between “Standing for any form of physical custody” and “Standing  … Read More

Indirect Criminal Contempt Petitions: Possible Penalties for Violating a No-Contact (PFA) Order

Pennsylvania’s Protection from Abuse (PFA) Act provides individuals engaged, or formerly engaged, in a certain relationship (often “intimate relationships” and “family relationships”) the ability to file for a Protective Order against another individual when the court determines that there is a finding of abuse. The PFA is technically a civil matter not a criminal matter,  … Read More