Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

May 2014 Archives

So...what does child support really cover?

Child support in Pennsylvania is commonly regarded as covering everything except "extra" expenses such as summer camp, medical care, daycare, private tuition, and extracurricular activities such as sports and dance. But are these things really excluded? Recent Pennsylvania law would beg to differ.

An Introduction to Wills in PA

In Pennsylvania, a person may die with or without having a will prepared. If a person has a will, it is important to make sure that the will was properly executed. If it is not, the courts may not honor the will if it is contested. To create a valid will in Pennsylvania, you must be at least 18 years old. The person making the will, commonly called the testator, must also be of sound mind at the time the will is created. Of course, the will must also be signed by the testator. In some situations where the testator is physically unable to sign, there may be an exception to this rule. Finally, the will must be witnessed, and this is usually done by two adults who are not named as beneficiaries under the will.

Martial Reconciliation in Butler County

Marital reconciliation happens when two individuals are separated but have not gone through the final stages of divorce, and one party makes a good faith offer to return to the household and live together once again as spouses.

What is Child Dependency in Pennsylvania?

The child dependency system in Pennsylvania is in place to ensure that all of the children of the Commonwealth receive proper protection and care. Sometimes, this means that a state agency may become involved in a family's life to ensure that any minor children are well cared for and safe. Often, the court becomes involved to oversee the dependency process and to decide who will care for a dependent child.

Custody Law for Military Families

Title 23 which speaks to domestic relations, and Title 51 which speaks to military affairs, were both amended in 2012 by ACT NO. 2012-32 S.B. No. 1167. This act understood the need to amend either title in order to allow members of the military to actively and fairly participate in custody proceedings.

Celebrity Weddings: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

One of the most anticipated events in the celebrity world finally took place this past weekend, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West officially got married. The ceremony was held in Florence, Italy, with most of the pre-wedding activities taking place in Paris, France. Although this was probably the most talked about wedding since Will and Kate walked down the aisle, it seems most people either want to know all of the details, or would prefer to not hear about the wedding at all. Either way, there may at least be a few lessons we can learn from this week-long wedding spectacle.

Juvenile Expungement in Pennsylvania

With competition to get into college rises, the history of our youth begins to matter more and more. Colleges are becoming more particular with their requirements and standards, and more exhaustive with their investigation of potential applicants. If you are a juvenile with a record or are the parent/guardian of a juvenile with a court record, it is important for you to educate yourself on the process of juvenile expungement.

The Juvenile Justice System in Pennsylvania: An Overview

The Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice system has undergone many changes since the late 2000's when the Commonwealth found itself in the middle of a national scandal knows as "Kids for Cash." In Luzerne County, two judges were found to be receiving kick-backs for sentencing juvenile offenders, most of whom were not represented, to extended amounts of time in privatized juvenile detention centers. Since that time, juvenile justice laws in Pennsylvania have changed dramatically to allow for more protections for juveniles, while still keeping the community as a whole safe.

Whitewood v. Wolf: The Case for Pennsylvania Marriage Equality

A few days ago, the Honorable John E. Jones III, a Federal Judge in Pennsylvania, decided that the ban on same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth is unconstitutional. Judge Jones further explained that the refusal of Pennsylvania to recognize marriages that were preformed legally in other states is also unconstitutional. Now, the Memorandum Opinion of Judge Jones has been released, and is available to the public. Continue reading below for a breakdown of the opinion in this case.

Governor Corbett Does Not Plan to Appeal Yesterday's Decision Legalizing Gay Marriage in PA

Today, Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Corbett, said he does not plan to appeal yesterday's ruling making the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The Governor admitted that he believed an appeal would be very unlikely to succeed and thus did not want to extend resources to do so. Therefore, unless a higher court steps in to reconsider this issue, gay and lesbian couples no longer face any legal hurdles to marry in Pennsylvania.

The Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional in PA

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled the law barring same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania as unconstitutional today, May 20, 2014. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller represented 11 gay couples, two teenage children of a couple involved in the suit, and a widow. The plaintiffs sought Pennsylvania to both recognize gay marriages formed in other states as well as permission to marry in the state of Pennsylvania.

Attorneys Lisa Vari and Jamie Spero both Honored by Super Lawyer Magazine for 2014

Congratulations are in order for both attorneys Lisa Vari and Jamie Spero of Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. As published in the 2014 edition of Super Lawyer Magazine, Ms. Vari has been selected through peer nominations and evaluations as one of Pennsylvania's top 100 attorneys, and Ms. Spero has been honored with her sixth "Rising Star" acknowledgment in the family law field, which is an honor given to only 2.5% of all associate attorneys in Pennsylvania.

Standing to File an Action for Custody

In order to file an action for custody in Pennsylvania, a person must first have "standing" to do so. Standing is just another way of saying that a person is allowed, as a matter of law, to file for what they are asking the court to do. For custody cases, there a several different ways a person can have standing.

Divorce and Life Insurance

Generally, one spouse will often list the other spouse as the beneficiary on a insurance policy. Life insurance is often a forgotten asset in many divorce claims. As such, there are several issues that arise during a divorce where a life insurance policy is involved.