Author Archives: McGrail & Associates

About McGrail & Associates

The lawyers of McGrail and Associates, LLC, offer individualized attention in many areas of the law, including divorce, family law, municipal and tax law, bankruptcy, estate planning and criminal defense. Attorneys at McGrail and Associates, which was founded by Patricia L. McGrail in 2000, have practiced in all of the state and federal court systems.

Social Media Evidence in Family Law Cases

Our Pennsylvania Family Law clients often ask about the admissibility of text messages and social media profiles/messages in family law matters. While this area of the law is constantly changing, any person anticipating being involved in a family law case must assume that their “internet persona” could potentially be used in court as evidence, especially in a child custody matter.

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PA Equitable Distribution – The Myth of 50/50

When our divorce clients have questions about the equitable distribution process – or the division of marital assets and apportionment of marital debts – they often assume that their estate will be divided exactly in half. This is because many spouses going through a divorce in Pennsylvania believe that the standard under PA law is to divide a couple’s marital estate exactly in half or 50/50. While in some cases this is true, this is not the standard across the board. Our blog today debunks this myth and discusses the factors that a Pennsylvania Court will consider during the equitable distribution process.

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Finding the Silver Lining in Divorce

Our Pennsylvania Divorce attorneys always strive to assist our clients through transitional periods in their lives, whether it is after a divorce, during a custody battle, or at the beginning of any family law matter. Attorneys earn the title of “Counselor” in more than one way when practicing family law – they are both counseling their client through the legal aspects of divorce, support, or custody, as well as counseling them personally through a significant life change.

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How to Mediate or Settle Child Support

Child support determinations in Pennsylvania involve many different factors and can often be very complex depending on the circumstances of the parties. Our blog today discusses the basics of child support and how support can be settled or mediated outside of court.

A child support determination under Pennsylvania law considers both parents’ incomes, the number of children, the custody arrangement between the parties, and takes into consideration any deviation factors that may exist in any given case.  The amount of support is based on the PA child support guidelines which are included in the Pennsylvania statutes. As with all family law matters; however, the parties are able to agree to an amount outside of court that is consistent with the guidelines, or is lower or higher than the guidelines.

After a child support complaint is filed in Pennsylvania, the parties are initially scheduled for a support conference with their County’s domestic relations office. The purpose of the conference is for the parties to discuss the guideline amount of child support and attempt to settle their child support matter without further court intervention. If the parties are unable to agree on a support amount at the conference,  either the same day of the conference or at a later date, the parties will be scheduled for a support hearing.

However, if the parties are able to exchange income information early on in their child support matter, they may be able to craft a child support settlement and avoid the court process. This is done through the drafting of a PACSES Order and having that Order processed with the domestic relations office. Parties can also attempt to mediate their child support matter through use of a neutral third party who will review the parties’ incomes and facilitate a settlement agreement if possible.

If you have questions about child support in Pennsylvania, contact our attorneys for assistance today! We can assist you with child support matters, including formulating a settlement agreement to resolve your child support case outside of court.

Custody and Visitation Rights for Fathers

Custody and Visitation for FathersMyths About Pennsylvania Custody Law

One of the fictions that exists surrounding child custody laws in Pennsylvania is that fathers do not have the right to equal child custody. Many fathers seeking custody of their children often share this falsehood, or believe it to be true. Our blog today debunks this myth and discusses custody rights for both parents in Pennsylvania.

The custody of minor children in Pennsylvania is determined by the “best interests of the child” standard. The courts take into consideration multiple factors listed in the Pennsylvania statutes that judges should consider when determining who gets custody. Continue reading