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Family Law

Domestic and Family Law

couple divorce

Family law is an area of the law that deals with family matters and domestic relationships, such as divorce, child custody and adoption. Some family law attorneys even specialize in paternity, emancipation, or other matters such as domestic violence.

Similar to other laws, Family Law changes depending on the state in which you reside.  In case of divorce, for instance, many states view assets acquired during a marriage as community property. Therefore, each party is entitled to an equal (50/50) distribution of assets although other factors such as prenuptial agreements can still affect the outcome of the settlement.

Read our blogs and news for more information on the latest domestic issues. 

  • PA. Supreme Court Affirms that “Contractual Expectanciesâ€� Are Gifts & Non Marital Property
    by Mark Ashton on August 16, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    Those of us from large firms sometimes read opinions where solo practitioners take a shot at an issue and force us to take notice. The facts in this Bucks County case litigated by a solo practitioner against a two lawyer firm are easy. Woman has a child in 1987. Woman and man marry in 1990.... Continue Reading

  • FEAR, MONEY & MARKETS: As if Covid Isn’t Enough
    by Mark Ashton on June 7, 2022 at 1:30 am

    People often ask divorce lawyers how they do it. My stock answer is that it’s like any other financial transaction, except that the transaction is wrapped in layers and layers of emotion. Usually, that emotion has to do with the relationship and the breach of “trust.� But in markets like the current one, emotions related... Continue Reading

  • RESPONDING TO THE DIVORCE WHERE ONE SPOUSE IS READY TO “BURN DOWN THE (FINANCIAL) HOUSE.â€�
    by Mark Ashton on June 3, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Extreme times produce irrational responses. A day ago, an unhappy orthopedic patient in Oklahoma decided it was time to kill his surgeon. He took three other lives as well as these people got “in his way.�             We are seeing this kind of irrational and largely self destructive conduct in the domestic world was well.... Continue Reading

  • Don’t Forget, it’s the Economy Stupid! Aunt Fannie Mae Says the Housing Boom Seems Over
    by Mark Ashton on May 24, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    It’s not actually Aunt Fannie but her Chief Economist Doug Duncan who has concluded today that the party ended in March as interest rates spiked 200 basis points since January 1. Fannie Mae revised new homes sales for March down to 709,000 from an earlier estimate of 763,000. The numbers for April also reflect a... Continue Reading

  • DIVORCE: THE NEW ESTATE PLANNING TOOL?
    by Mark Ashton on May 17, 2022 at 1:52 pm

      This morning (5/17) presented an article by Michael Waters in the on-line edition of The Atlantic noting that only about half of Americans die with a will (i.e., testamentary instrument) and suggesting that many of the state laws that profess to divide assets where there isn’t a will are antiquated. That may be a... Continue Reading

  • SHOULD YOU CONVERT YOUR IRA/401K TO AN ANNUITY?
    by Mark Ashton on May 12, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    This is an odd topic for a family law blog until I started to think about. Today’s on line Marketwatch website featured an article by Chris Farrell about whether retirees should consider rolling assets from defined contribution products into annuities. The law allows you to do so without the transaction being a taxable event at... Continue Reading

  • IS CONTINGENT DEBT SUBJECT TO DISTRIBUTION? A Student Loan Guaranty Needs to be Addressed in Divorce
    by Mark Ashton on May 2, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    A panel decision issued April 27, 2022 takes on an issue heretofore undecided in Pennsylvania but an issue of enormous consequence to many marital estates; the matter of student debt. Massar v. Massar involves a 20 year marriage that produced two children ages 23 and 19. During the marriage the eldest child attended Bloomsburg and... Continue Reading

  • Divorce Financing Encounters A Turbulent Real Estate Market
    by Mark Ashton on April 4, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    At the end of the day, divorce is a financial transaction wrapped in complex human emotions. Part of the divorce lawyer’s mission is to try to gently unwrap the emotion so that each party can walk away from a failed relationship with assets that make sense. Custody of children is the most difficult part of... Continue Reading

  • Family Law Litigation in Pennsylvania; What Hath Covid Wrought?
    by Mark Ashton on March 18, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    We try to keep track of trends in family law. 2020 was, for many reasons, an unusual year. But some trends are continuing when we reviewed the statistical survey published by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.   Recall that in 2020, Pennsylvania was pretty much closed from March 15 until the first week in... Continue Reading

  • Communicating the Divorce News to the Family
    by Mark Ashton on January 25, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    We recently posted on the matter of how to let friends and family know that a separation/divorce is imminent. In so doing, we neglected the far thornier subject of how to tell the kids. This is indeed a ticklish subject often because parents underestimate how much kids already know about their parents’ unhappiness. It also... Continue Reading

  • Why are you getting a divorce?
    by Amy B. Harris on March 15, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Often times, when a friend or family member is told about a divorce, after the “I am so sorry� and “I never liked your spouse anyway�, The post Why are you getting a divorce? first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • What’s the Difference?
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    There are differences between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (“liquidation” or “straight bankruptcy”) and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (the “wage earner’s bankruptcy”).  While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy The post What’s the Difference? first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • Withholding Judgment
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Sometimes debtors are described as “judgment proof.”  This means that creditors will have difficulty collecting debt against them because their property is legally exempt or they The post Withholding Judgment first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • Bankruptcy Can Eliminate Tax Debts!
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Most bankruptcy filers will continue to owe tax debts at the end of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  However, it is possible to discharge debts for State and The post Bankruptcy Can Eliminate Tax Debts! first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • Consider the Alternatives
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    If a debtor does not qualify for a Chapter 7 filing, there are financial options other than Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but they have their own downsides The post Consider the Alternatives first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • Ways and Means
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which discharges most of a debtor’s unsecured debt (personal loans, credit cards, etc.), the debtor must pass a The post Ways and Means first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • The Costs of Bankruptcy
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    It may seem somewhat ironic to anyone considering filing for bankruptcy that he or she is expected to pay exorbitant fees to file.  Fortunately, filing costs The post The Costs of Bankruptcy first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • Going Public Or Keeping Private
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Even thought it may make perfect financial sense for them to file for bankruptcy, some people avoid filing because they feel embarrassed or ashamed.  This is The post Going Public Or Keeping Private first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • More Than Cosigners Bargained For
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Loan cosigners should know that if the primary borrower does not pay the debt and files for bankruptcy, the cosigner will be responsible for the debt.  The post More Than Cosigners Bargained For first appeared on KWW Law Firm.

  • Are You Responsible For Business Debt?
    by brian winters on November 20, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Any consideration that a business owner gives to filing for bankruptcy hinges on whether he or she is personally liable for the debt incurred by his The post Are You Responsible For Business Debt? first appeared on KWW Law Firm.