The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled last month that Civil Unions should be treated like divorces in Pennsylvania. The court decided this after reviewing a Philadelphia court's decision in Neyman v. Buckley. In this case, the appellant appealed the decision of the court to dismiss her complaint for divorce seeking dissolution of her Vermont civil union. The Superior court held that "the Vermont civil union creates the functional equivalent of marriage for the purposes of dissolution and that Neyman had the right to proceed with her divorce in Pennsylvania.
Were you holidays ruined because of a fight with your spouse or the lack of clarity in a custody schedule for your children? Did you pass on holiday parties to avoid having family and friends see the tension between you and your significant other? Are you ready to start fresh for 2017? Are you tired of fielding questions at the holiday dinner table about why you're never allowed to spend time with your family? Did you notice a present on the joint credit card statement that didn't end up under the tree this year? If any of this is true about you, it might be time to consider speaking to an attorney about a divorce or other family law proceeding. In a way, we suggest making it your New Year's resolution to give yourself a fresh start and a fresh outlook on life in 2017.
A few months ago, we posted about the proposed change to the waiting period for no-fault divorces in Pennsylvania. Specifically, the state legislature was debating whether to shorten the waiting period for contested no-fault divorces in Pennsylvania from two years to one year. Recently, a bill reflecting this change in the law passed the Pennsylvania State House. This law was passed as House Bill 380 and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on October 4, 2016. This law will go into effect in sixty days (December 4, 2016).
There are a number of stages in the formal divorce process in Pennsylvania. First is the filing of the divorce complaint, then there is a mandatory waiting period of at least 90 days during which a divorce may not be finalized, and at some time after that, a divorce will be finalized with the entry of a divorce decree. A divorce decree, generally speaking, extinguishes all of the rights that you had because of the marriage. Of the rights that a decree extinguishes is the right to make a request for alimony and division of the marital assets.
With the advent of reproductive technology, divorcing couples in Pennsylvania and around the country are not only compelled to grapple with the question of who should have custody of their living children, but also what to do with their prospective children. The Missouri court of appeals is grappling with just that question as they hear arguments between a husband and wife over the fate of two frozen embryos created via In Vitro Fertilization. This dispute is between a former husband and wife over whether the woman should be permitted to have these embryos implanted and carry them to term.
Pennsylvania law permits parties to a divorce action to proceed as a no fault-based or fault-based divorce. No fault divorce means that you file and assert the "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage, meaning that the marriage is broken beyond repair. In this type of divorce, neither party has to prove fault. Fault-based divorce means that you have to prove one of fault grounds to have the divorce be allowed to proceed. The fault-based divorce grounds include adultery, abandonment, cruelty, bigamy, conviction with imprisonment for over two years, and actions that make the marriage intolerable.
By: John M. Schaffranek, Esquire
Would you bet that your marriage will last forever? Swanluv is willing to take that bet. What's Swanluv? The new Seattle, Washington-based startup company is set to begin operating next month, in February 2016. Their business model is not only unique, but likely the first of it's kind.
Divorce can be a long and time consuming process that is not for the faint of heart. However, a recent bill proposed before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee could result in a substantial decrease in the time, cost and headache of divorce proceedings in Pennsylvania. This bill, proposed by a Representative from Luzerne County and supported by members of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section, would reduce the current two-year waiting period under Pennsylvania's no-fault divorce law to one year.
Often the family law industry finds itself at offs with the Catholic Church, which has historically required a several step process and steep fees to have the dissolution of a marriage spiritually recognized by an annulment. Under Catholic doctrine, a marriage will not be formally recognized by the church as ended unless the parties seek an annulment. This would prevent either husband or wife from remarrying in the Church among other things and placed a large barrier in the way of the nearly 28,000 American couples who sought divorce last year. Though the Catholic Church still does not formally recognize divorce without a formal Catholic annulment, Pope Francis announced this week that he hopes to simplify and streamline the process allowing the more than 28% of Catholics whose marriages end in divorce to breathe a bit easier and putting a bit less strain on their pocketbooks as well.