Yearly Archives: 2012

No “Best Interest” Hearing to Determine Fatherhood if Putative Father has No Relationship

December 21, 2012 | Blog, Child Support, Court Decisions

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

A few months ago, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court resculpted the landscape of paternity cases in K.E.M. v. P.C.S., 38 A.3d 798 (Pa.2012), by establishing a “best interests” standard in cases where the presumption of paternity by estoppel might apply. Paternity by estoppel is a legal principle that prohibits the genetic testing of children who have the benefit of an unmarried father’s love, care and financial resources. As the Superior Court […]

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Denial of Record Hearing Violates Parenting Coordinator Laws

December 21, 2012 | Blog, Child Custody

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

For the past few years, some Pennsylvania counties have experimented with parenting coordination, which involves the appointment of a lawyer or therapist to assist parents in resolving routine conflicts that do not (read: “should not”) rise to the level of judicial intervention. Perhaps this method ultimately will be abandoned, as rumors have it, but for now, there is a recent decision emphasizing the importance of judicial oversight. In A.H. v. […]

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Protecting Assets in Divorce

December 09, 2012 | Blog, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Marital Property

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

One of the first issues that spouses may encounter during a marital separation is the problem of protecting assets, particularly bank accounts, investments, personal property, and cash. There is a natural tendency toward mistrust at the beginning of a divorce case, which can lead to paranoia or  reckless misdeeds if it is not handled properly. These tips can help to avoid stressful conflict during marital separation: 1. Start a new […]

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IRS Disqualifies Tax Deduction for Alimony Paid Until Child Finishes College

December 02, 2012 | Alimony, Blog, Court Decisions, Tax Issues

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

In Doolittle v. Commissioner, T.C. Summary Opinion 2012-103 (2012), a NON-precedential opinion of the U.S. Tax Court, the taxpayer settled his divorce by entering into a marital settlement agreement, in which he agreed to pay $900 per month alimony until December 31, 2010. The alimony was intended to “help with college costs,” according to the 2003 settlement agreement. The child of the taxpayer and  his former wife would be 23 years […]

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