Understanding Child Custody Provisions in Pennsylvania

Child custody provisions in Pennsylvania act as a way to navigate the arrangements for childcare with clear boundaries and legal expectations. Whether you resolve your child custody dispute by agreement or after lengthy litigation in court, you should expect that the resulting custody Order will include many, if not all, of the following provisions:

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engagement ring

What Happens To The Engagement Ring If There Is No Wedding?

Pennsylvania law has been clear for many years. If a person proposes and gives his/her intended spouse an engagement ring (and/or another type of gift) with the promise to marry and the wedding does not occur, the engagement ring, and/or any other gift given in anticipation of the wedding must be returned to the donor. This was because the engagement ring (and/or other gift) was a gift that was conditioned on the promise that a marriage would occur. The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently handed down a case that changed the law somewhat. In Campbell v. Tang, Mr. Campbell proposed to Ms. Tang to give her a diamond engagement ring, a matching pendant necklace, and matching diamond earrings. Ms. Tang accepted his proposal, and the parties began to plan a wedding.

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Social security disability claim contract

Can You Work While Your Social Security Claim is Pending?

Working While Your Social Security Disability Claim is Pending

You may have questions as a Claimant for Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits if you are considering working part-time during the long wait for your hearing.

With a free consultation, an attorney at Pyfer, Reese, Straub, Gray & Farhat, P.C. is available to assist you with determining how your work activity will impact your Social Security Disability benefits claim.

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Why Naming a Minor Child a Life Insurance Beneficiary is a Bad Idea

Understanding Life Insurance Beneficiary Provisions

Life insurance companies cannot pay funds directly to a minor beneficiary.  If your life insurance beneficiary is a minor when you die and you have not made any type of provisions for a custodian or guardian of the funds, the distribution of funds will be delayed because your County Court will be required to become involved in selecting and appointing a corporate or adult custodian or guardian to manage the funds on behalf of the minor.

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Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Laws

In the heart of Pennsylvania, our Keystone State, the laws surrounding workers’ compensation hold unique implications for both employers and employees. In these local circumstances, the legal team at Pyfer Reese stands ready to guide you through the complexities of workers’ compensation, ensuring that you receive the support and compensation you deserve.

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Preliminary Hearings

After police file criminal charges against someone, the first critical stage of the proceedings against them is a preliminary hearing before a magisterial district judge. In Lancaster County, there are two types of cases that have preliminary hearings in specialized central courts—domestic violence and driving under the influence—those central courts will be discussed in a separate blog. The defendant’s decisions on the day of the preliminary hearing can profoundly affect the trajectory of their case going forward, and those decisions should be guided by a skilled, diligent, and experienced lawyer.

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Child Custody Decisions in Pennsylvania

Understanding Your Choices for the Best Chance at Success

Child custody decisions in Pennsylvania are determined by a court’s assessment of the best interests of the child, considering all relevant factors, including those factors listed in Section 5328 of the child custody statute.  Among the 16 factors considered by the court is the “well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child’s maturity and judgment.”  It is important to highlight that the well-reasoned preference of a child is simply one of 16 factors a court must weigh when deciding a physical custody schedule that is in the best interests of a child.  Therefore, although a child may express a preference in residing primarily with one parent over the other, that preference is considered along with all other factors, and a court may decide that the child’s preference is outweighed by more significant factors.  This means that a court may not agree that the child’s desired preference is in their best interests, regardless of the child’s age or level of maturity. 

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Many times, people wonder what documents are contained in comprehensive Estate Planning.  They may be as follows:

  • A Will.
  • A Power Of Attorney
  • A Living Will.
  • A Medical Power Of Attorney.
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Qualifications and Eligibility for SSDI Benefits & SSI

SSDI & SSI: For which disability benefit(s) should you apply?

SSDI benefits and SSI benefits are two disability benefit programs offered by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) are provided as benefits to individuals that qualify based on a disability that meets SSA statutes. But, which one should you apply for? Should you apply for both or are you not eligible for either SSDI or SSI?

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common law marriage


Common Law Benefits

Pennsylvania stopped recognizing Common Law Marriages as of January 1, 2005; however, if you had established a Common Law Marriage in Pennsylvania prior to that date, Pennsylvania Law preserves the validity of such marriages.  An established Common Law Marriage may provide you with certain benefits such as spousal death benefits, Social Security surviving spouse benefits, or zero percent inheritance tax (as opposed to 15% for unrelated persons). 

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