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Author Archives: Edwin W. Russell

Author Archives: Edwin W. Russell

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 […]

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 […]

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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