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Are Disability Payments Marital Property?

Around the nation, trial and appellate courts have had to decide whether or not disability pensions should be considered as marital property. Under what is called the "analytic" approach, the disability pension is divided into the "regular pension" component and the pure disability component (which is in lieu of future earnings), and only the regul...

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Michael E. Bertin Selected to Receive 2011 Pennsylvania Bar Association Special Achievement Award

PHILADELPHIA – April 11, 2011 –Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Michael E. Bertinhas been selected to receive a 2011 Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Special Achievement Award.  Bertin is being honored for his contributions and efforts for his work with the PBA Family Law Section to e...

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Standing Found in Abuse Case Where Parties Dated Twice

Under the Protection from Abuse Act (PFA Act), "abuse" is defined as follows: "The occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood: (1) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury...

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Superior Court Weighs in on Jurisdictional Issues in Child Custody

Recently, a number of Pennsylvania Superior Court cases have been published pertaining to jurisdiction in child custody cases. The cases of R.M. v. J.S. , C.L. v. Z.M.F.H. and B.J.D. v. D.L.C. will be addressed in this article. Jurisdictional disputes in child custody cases are always a hot topic for family law practitioners. In 2004, Pennsylvania...

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Panel Denies Credit for Time Served in Child Support Civil Contempt

An interesting issue was raised recently in a Pennsylvania Superior Court case pertaining to civil contempt in a child support case. In Warmkessel v. Heffner , Eric Heffner appealed a trial court's order refusing to give him credit for time that he served incarcerated as a result of an outstanding bench warrant against his incarceration sanction re...

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New Child Custody Act Ushers in Sweeping Changes

On Jan. 24, the new Child Custody Act (Act No. 112 of 2010) went into effect. The new Child Custody Act begins at 23 Pa. C.S.A. §5321 and concludes at 23 Pa. C.S.A. §5340, and replaces sections 5301 through 5315, as well as Section 4346. The act was approximately 10 years in the making and is prospective and applies to actions commenced o...

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Local Customs and Practices Cannot Determine Custody Cases

 Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has published two opinions reiterating the well-established case law mandating a fact-specific analysis of the children's best interests by the court in deciding custody disputes as opposed to relying on local custom, practice or judicial norms. The most recent case on this issue is the 2010 state Sup...

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Michael E. Bertin to Speak at PBI Webinar on New Child Custody Legislation

Michael E. Bertin, a partner and member of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP's Litigation Department and Family Law Group, will be a speaker at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute webinar entitled: “The New Child Custody Legislation: An Overview.” The webinar will focus on the new custody bill that goes into effect on January 24, 20...

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Support Order Increased Without Cross-Petition to Modify

The recent case of Brickus v. Dent provides practitioners with a reminder that support orders may be modified in any appropriate manner — either upwardly or downwardly — regardless of whether the petitioner is seeking an upward or downward modification of the order and the respondent does not file a counter/cross-petition to modify. Br...

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Michael E. Bertin Will Serve as Course Planner and Moderator for PBI Program in October & December

Michael E. Bertin, a partner in the Litigation Department of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP will serve as the Course Planner and Moderator of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute program entitled: "Family Law in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, & Montgomery Counties.” The program will feature the “Who, What, When, Where, & Why&rd...

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