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Author Archives: Jennifer Courtney

Who Claims the Dependency Exemptions for the Children After a Divorce?

One of the financial issues surrounding a divorce or legal separation concerns which of the parents gets to claim the children as dependents for tax purposes. While recent changes to federal law have eliminated the dollar value of the dependency exemption, it is still necessary to claim the exemption in order to qualify for other… Read More »

Special Issues Facing Pennsylvania Couples in High-Net-Worth Divorces

Divorces between wealthy Pennsylvania couples may develop into complicated and lengthy proceedings. Spouses with valuable and diverse assets will face issues unlike those that arise in a typical divorce, chiefly concerning the identification and valuation of property for purposes of equitable distribution. High-net-worth divorces often involve complex assets, such as multiple real estate interests, pension… Read More »

What to Think About When Filing for Divorce

Making the decision that a divorce is necessary or desirable is not done lightly. It has probably taken you a great deal of time and considerable anguish to get to that point. However, even more decision-making and careful preparation lie ahead. There are basic steps that you should take at the onset of the divorce… Read More »

Filing Taxes When Your Divorce Is Not Yet Final

As if getting divorced weren’t already difficult enough, there is the issue of taxes to think about. The end of your marriage also alters your relationship with the Internal Revenue Service, and this requires careful decision-making. Some of the tax choices can be made on your own, while others will require communicating with you soon-to-be… Read More »

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 »