Category: Court Decisions

Divorced Spouses Must Update Beneficiary Designations

Divorced spouses who do not update their beneficiary designations are taking an unnecessary risk, as illustrated by a case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In Sveen v. Melin, No. 16-1432 (cert. granted December 8, 2017), the Met Life insurance company was “caught in the middle” when its policyholder Mark Sveen died in 2011.  He had purchased his life insurance policy and designated his then-wife, Kaye Melin, as his […]

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Grandparent Custody Law

Parents' Marital Separation is Not Enough

September 17, 2016 | Blog, Child Custody, Court Decisions

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

Grandparents who seek custody rights faced a setback this month when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down a portion of the law that allowed grandparents to sue for custody when the children’s parents were separated for at least six months.  The Supreme Court, in D.P. and B.P. v. G.J.P. and A.P., No. 25 WAP 2016 (September 9, 2016), examined the grandparent standing law, that defines which grandparents may sue for custody rights.  The law, […]

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QDRO Divides Pension at Retirement Date Unless Agreement Specifies Otherwise

May 14, 2016 | Blog, Court Decisions, Equitable Distribution

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

Bortz v. Bortz, No. 1147 MDA 2015 (April 27, 2016)(non-precedential) Husband in this case was a Williamsport police officer who entered into a settlement with his wife when they divorced.  Their agreement provided that she would receive fifty-five percent (55%) of the “marital portion of Husband’s retirement account(s) and/or pension plan(s) through his employment with the City of Williamsport.” The “marital portion” would be determined “pursuant to current law,” said […]

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Social Media Boasting Torpedoes Child Support Reduction

May 11, 2016 | Blog, Child Support, Court Decisions

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

C.O. aka C.G. v. N.G., No. 808 MDA 2015 (April 26, 2016)(non-precedential) In 2014, Father petitioned to modify his support obligation due to a medical condition known as thalassemia major, which is an inherited blood disorder that is treated with transfusions to restore red blood cells.  Father had stopped working full time as a Certified Public Accountant and had been unemployed for eight months.  He previously earned $52,000 to $54,000 […]

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