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Recent Blog Posts

Can Pennsylvania Stepparents Ever Be Required to Pay Child Support?

Pennsylvania courts favor child custody and support arrangements that are reached without judicial intervention, but things don’t always turn out that way. The process of determining custody and child support terms can develop into a prolonged legal dispute, made even more complex if stepchildren are involved. For example, the case of Shiloh v. Shiloh (2015) […]

Who Keeps the Pets After a Divorce in Pennsylvania?

One aspect of the emotional hardship that often accompanies divorce concerns family pets. Regardless of how strong the connection between a spouse and a pet, an animal is still considered personal property under Pennsylvania’s “Barney Rule,” established by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in the case of Desanctis v. Pritchard (2002). In that decision, the […]

Pittsburgh’s Bullhook Ban

In December of 2017, Pittsburgh City Council voted to ban the use of bullhooks, electric prods, shocking devices, hacksaws, and other instruments capable of inflicting pain, intimidating, or threating pain for the purpose of training or controlling wild or exotic animals, including elephants, lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and camels, in the city of Pittsburgh.  Each […]

Pennsylvania Child Support – Part II – Calculating base child support

This is the second installment in a three-part series.  Read the first part here. After a child’s parents’ net monthly incomes have been determined, the next step in establishing a support amount is to calculate the base child support. To do this, the parents’ net monthly incomes are combined. A table established by the state […]

Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

Doctors are universally respected, with good reason, and hold a high place in our society.  However, even the very best doctors have bad days.  Unfortunately, when a doctor has a careless moment or day, there can be catastrophic results to the patient.  For example, the failure to order proper and necessary testing can lead to […]

How Fast Can You Get a Divorce in Pennsylvania When You Are in an Abusive Marriage?

Your home is meant to be a safe haven, free from conflict and anxiety. However, when ongoing arguments lead to psychologically or physically hurtful battles, you certainly don’t feel that way. But you no longer need to be trapped in an abusive and harmful situation. All forms of domestic violence and emotional abuse are considered […]

How the Probate Process Works in Pennsylvania

Whenever someone passes away in Pennsylvania, his or her estate will likely need to go through the probate process. This involves validating the will and distributing any assets and property the deceased individual owned. The process begins when the estate’s executor, named in the will, files a probate petition with the register of wills in […]

How an Adoption Petition in Pennsylvania Became a Lengthy Court Battle

Adopting children can bring joy to qualified families and individuals, but sometimes adoption proceedings can also create complicated legal hurdles. When a Penn Hills foster mother attempted to legally adopt a young girl who was in her foster care, the child’s maternal aunt traveled to the United States from Cameroon to prevent the adoption. A […]

New Animal Protection Statute: Act 10

As of August 28, 2017, Pennsylvania has a new animal protection statute, Act 10. Signed into law on June 29, 2017, Act 10 represents the first major change to Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws in nearly thirty years. Act 10 garnished strong support from the Pennsylvania legislature after the story of a rescued dog named Libre […]

Significant Changes to Gift and GST Tax

The newly enacted Tax Cuts & Jobs Act makes significant changes to the Gift and GST taxes.  One such change is that the §2503 gift tax exclusion amount will increase to $15,000 after five long years of being at $14,000. Additionally, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act increases each taxpayer’s lifetime exemption from $5,490,000 in […]

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