August 2023
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Blogs and Podcasts
Back to School and Co-Parenting
By Carolyn Mirabile, Family Law Managing Partner

It is back to school time and parents should be prepared to understand their rights and responsibilities as it relates to custody. Most custodial agreements provide for shared legal custody. As a result, both parents not only have a right to participate in school selection, but they have a right to all school related information, attend all school functions including activities and parent/teacher meetings.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement on school selection, they may need to file a petition with the court before enrolling their child(ren) in school. Additionally, each parent should directly contact the school to confirm both the teachers and administration have updated contact information and are aware the child(ren) is living in two separate households so that information is mailed or emailed directly to both parents simultaneously.
Changes in the Pennsylvania Divorce Code
By Carolyn Mirabile, Family Law Managing Partner

An important change to the Divorce Code will have a significant impact on contractual beneficiary designations effective May 2, 2023. Section 3323 has been amended to add subparagraph (b.1) which provides in part, “[a]n order accompanying a Decree of Divorce or annulment of the marriage shall include a provision informing the parties to reaffirm or change the beneficiary status” …on all contractual arrangements providing payment to a spouse such as life insurance policies, annuities and retirement plans “…if it is the intention of one of the parties to keep or change the other party as a beneficiary”. Attorneys must also affirmatively warn the parties failure to have such a provision in their agreement or court order may result in revocation of the beneficiary designation. 
Let's Talk Family Law
Podcast Episodes
Can My Kids Call My Husband “Daddy” Even if He Isn’t Their Father?
By Lawrence J. "Skip" Persick, Partner
As I indicated in my last blog post, Pennsylvania’s Superior Court gave us family lawyers a nice list of issues in Rogowski v. Kirven, 2023 Pa. Super. Lexis 75 (March 1, 2023). In that blog I addressed what I call “frustration contempt”. You can read it here. Another issue in that same opinion is something I am frequently asked, but until Rogowski, never saw the issue addressed by any appellate court. That is, a child calling a stepparent “daddy” or “mommy”.
Every Dog Has His Day
By Carolyn Mirabile, Family Law Managing Partner
When a new client hires me in their family law matter the first piece of advice I give to the client is, “get off all social media.” Most clients don’t listen to me until they feel the first effects from a social media post gone wrong. For example, a client is getting ready for support court and represents they don’t have any money to pay support. The estranged spouse then sees recent social media posts from her husband with his new significant other on an expensive trip.
Legal Articles
Does Shared Legal Custody Really Include Religious Decisions?
By Carolyn Mirabile, Family Law Managing Partner

Article published by The Legal Intelligencer
Legal custody in Pennsylvania is very broad and encompasses many decision-making issues. In most cases the parties have shared legal custody which enables both parents to make decisions which affect the welfare of the child. In a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case, Rogowski v. Kirven, 725 WDA 2022 8-9 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2023), which was published in March, the appellate court addressed the challenging issues regarding a religious decision made by one of the parents and the consequences of violating shared legal custody.
By Skip Persick, Partner

Article published by The Legal Intelligencer
Like most of us family lawyers, I try to keep abreast of the continuing developments in our area of the law. There now exists a number of email services that fill the role of what we used to call “advance sheets.” Now, instead of reading through the monthly booklet of new reported appellate decisions, I get an email, almost every day, with pertinent opinions from Pennsylvania’s various appellate courts relative to my practice. These include both reported and unreported decisions. Ironically, sometimes the unreported decisions pique my interest more than the reported ones.
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