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Author Archives: Jennifer Courtney

Who Pays for a Child’s Private Schooling and Extracurricular Activities?

When parents get divorced, Pennsylvania law has specific guidelines that judges use to determine how much child support should be paid. But the guidelines are designed only to calculate costs of food, clothing, shelter, health care and other essentials. When extraordinary expenses arise that are outside the scope of basic child-rearing, the court must decide… Read More »

What Happens if Parents with Joint Custody Live in Different School Districts?

Pennsylvania family courts follow the public policy that it is in children’s best interests to have both parents involved in their upbringing. As a result, joint physical custody arrangements are very common. While cooperation is the ideal, there may be complications. For example, what happens when the parents live in different school districts and can’t… Read More »

How a Parent’s Medical Marijuana Card May Affect Child Custody

One of the newest frontiers in Pennsylvania family law is how a parent’s legal medical marijuana use can impact child custody. Before the passage of the Medical Marijuana Act in 2016, a parent who used marijuana faced an uphill battle when it came to custody. But now, custody determinations have become more complicated. Two things,… Read More »

What Types of Counseling May Be Part of a Family Law Case?

Mental health counseling is a frequent topic of conversation in family court and in the offices of family law attorneys. That’s certainly no surprise. After all, families involved in the legal system usually experience a great deal of stress, whether the issue is divorce, child custody, domestic violence or another matter. It can all take… Read More »

Can a Court Impute Income to a Spouse or Parent Who Is Unemployed or Underemployed?

Child support and alimony obligations can be among the most acrimonious issues in divorce. Often, the party required to pay support doesn’t want to overpay, while the party receiving it doesn’t want to be, in his or her view, shortchanged. When animosity leads to behaviors such as quitting a job or taking a low-paying job… Read More »

Who Gets the Stimulus Check When Spouses Are Separated or Divorcing?

Going through a divorce is stressful enough, but the coronavirus pandemic spreading throughout the United States presents additional complications for spouses who have decided to split. In addition to changes that might need to be made regarding custody and visitation arrangements while travel is restricted, negotiations over property division need to address any new economic… Read More »

Communicating With Your Ex About COVID-19 Custody Issues

During a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, family becomes more important than ever, especially for children whose schedules have been disrupted by long-term school closures and the cancellation of other activities. Parents who are divorced or live apart for other reasons know the importance of maintaining healthy communication through difficult situations. Though this situation… Read More »

16 Factors Pennsylvania Courts Consider in Child Custody Cases

When you and your child’s parent separate, whether you’re married or not, you want to maintain a strong, loving relationship with your children, no matter where they live. That is one reason why most parents, when they split up, end up negotiating and agreeing to a parenting plan outside of court. But when parents cannot… Read More »

Does an Inheritance Received During Marriage Get Divided During Divorce?

How much you get to keep following a divorce depends on how the marital assets and debts are divided and what is property is considered separate. If you received an inheritance during the marriage, it’s often considered separate property, but under some circumstances your ex may assert the right to a portion of it, under… Read More »

Do Parents Paying Child Support Have to Pay for Braces and Other Noncovered Medical Expenses?

In Pennsylvania, parents who pay child support share the responsibility of paying medical expenses for their children that insurance doesn’t cover. According to the specific provisions in a divorce decree or child support order, they may be responsible for paying for unreimbursed or uninsured dental, vision and medical costs. However, if neither document addresses these… Read More »