A Full Spectrum Law Firm
There are numerous grounds upon which divorces may proceed. Some are fault based and some are no-fault based. The courts in Pennsylvania prefer the resolution of divorces on what is called “no-fault grounds”. In a no-fault divorce, despite the fact that divorcing parties are often going through pain rarely otherwise experienced, the courts will only consider fault in the divorce proceedings when alimony has been requested. Its relevancy in custody actions is discussed in the "Custody" tab. For more information and an in-depth discussion of divorce, please go to "Divorce" under the "Resources" tab or contact the Law Offices of Jeannie Fridey. The firm believes that well-informed clients are better able to make decisions regarding divorce that are right for them.Read More
There are two main types of custody, i.e., physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody involves the schedule that each parent will have with the child. There are different types of physical custody. These are primary physical custody, partial physical custody and shared physical custody. Primary custody means that the child will reside primarily with one parent, determined by the number of overnights the child spends with a party. The parent having custody more than half of the overnights is typically referred to as the primary physical custodian. Partial physical custody means that the child will reside with one parent less than half of the overnights. Shared physical custody means that the child lives with each parent fairly equally. Fathers often believe that the courts are predisposed to giving mothers primary physical custody. This is no longer the case as the courts in this area generally favor shared physical custody.
The second main type of custody is legal custody. Legal custody is the right of a parent or parents to make decisions of importance in the lives of their children relating to their education, health and religious upbringing. In the overwhelming majority of cases, parents are awarded shared legal custody. Sole legal custody is awarded to a parent only when shared legal custody is strongly counter-indicated, such as when one parent has demonstrated an inability to make decisions that foster the best interests of the children.
Custody is one of the most emotion-filled issues in family law. It is best if the parents are able to resolve custodial issues without the intervention of the court because once the court is called upon to make the decisions, the parents actually relinquish control over the outcome and put the custody of their children into the hands of others. It is important to be represented by an attorney who is skilled in the art of negotiation and who is able to effectively work with the other side to reach an acceptable agreement. If a settlement is not possible, a client needs an attorney who is accessible and responsive, who listens and understands the parent’s concerns and needs, who has superior advocacy skills and who can successfully litigate the case. Jeannie E. Fridey, Esquire possesses these skills and is the perfect choice for helping a parent in successfully navigating a custody dispute. For a more in-depth discussion and further information on custody issues, please click "Custody" under the “Resources” tab.Read More
Generally, a parent having custody of the child or children 50% or more of the time (calculated in Pennsylvania by the number of overnights the children spend at each home) has child support rights for which she/he can petition the court. Child support orders are based on the incomes of the parties using the Pensylvania Support Guidelines. The Guidelines were developed using various factors to determine the needs of the children based on the parents' total incomes. Once the incomes of the parties are calculated, a basic child support figure is determined. The basic child support figure is split between the parties in proportion to their incomes.
Other expenses of the children are added to the basic child support amount in determining a support order, such as the cost of daycare, private school tuition and the cost of summer camp. The cost of other needs of the children, such as music or dance lessons, sports, etc. may be included in a support order depending on the circumstances of the case. The cost of health insurance premiums is factored into the support order. Finally, the order will direct each parent to pay his/her proportionate share of out-of-pocket medical-type expenses. For a more in-depth discussion and further information on child support, please click "Child Support" under the "Resources" tab.Read More
Prior to a divorce being finalized, an eligible spouse may be entitled to one of the two types of spousal support. Spousal support can be awarded to the spouse once the parties have separated. There is a second type of support called alimony pendente lite, or apl. This type of support is only available to a spouse once the divorce complaint has been filed. The spouse earning less may be awarded either spousal support or apl, but not both. The formula for determining spousal support/apl is based on a percentage of the difference of the net incomes of the parties. The percentage is determined by whether or not there will be a child support obligation.1
Parties often find the ins and outs of child and spousal support to be confusing. It is important to retain an attorney who takes the time to answer questions and to provide clients with the guidance needed in making decisions regarding the payment of support. Jeannie Fridey, Esquire is committed to ensuring that her clients are informed and she is a fierce advocate in matters related to support. For more information on spousal support, please contact the Law Offices of Jeannie Fridey or refer to "Spousal Support" under the “Resources” tab.
1 Citing Pa.R.C.P. 1910.16-4(a)
While the purpose of spousal support/apl is to financially assist the dependent spouse prior to the entry of the divorce decree, alimony is support paid to a spouse after the entry of the decree. There are common misconceptions about alimony. People often believe that there is a rule entitling an ex-spouse to one year of alimony for every three years of marriage. No such rule exists. While there is alimony in Pennsylvania, it is discretionary. The determination of whether it is awarded, in what amount and for what duration is subject to the application of multiple factors. The Law Offices of Jeannie Fridey is available to discuss the different aspects of support, including alimony. For a more in-depth discussion of alimony, please refer to the "Alimony" section under the “Resources” tab.Read More
If the divorcing parties accumulated assets and/or debts during the marriage that require division, the divorce concludes with the “equitable distribution” process. Pennsylvania has statutes and procedures that govern how the marital estate of the parties is divided. Numerous factors are considered such as the length of the marriage, ages of the parties, education, skills, job experience, etc. These are matters of utmost importance to the financial futures of parties. How a marital estate is ultimately divided between divorcing parties in Pennsylvania often depends on the skills of the attorneys. To ensure that a party obtains the best possible result, a client needs an attorney like Jeannie Fridey, who is talented in the art of negotiation, is a highly skilled litigator, is innovative, is a fierce advocate and is adept at navigating the ins and outs of the county, court personnel and opposing counsels. For more information and a more detailed discussion of equitable distribution, please go to the "Equitable Distribution" section under the “Resources” tab.Read More
It takes specialized and extraordinary skill and experience to successfully manage high asset and/or high profile cases. High asset cases require knowledge, innovative thinking and creativity on the part of the attorney to ensure the protection and proper distribution of assets in divorces. This is also true for support matters. Pennsylvania allows for the discretionary deviation of support orders in cases in which an obligor may have a large estate. For example, an obligor may not show extraordinary income, but she/he may own significant assets. This may effect his/her support obligation.
High asset cases routinely involve sorting out the details of complicated trusts, real estate holdings, business values, deferred compensation, stock options, investments, and collections of fine art, antiques and jewelry. These types of cases require a firm that possesses the resources, network, ability to invest the time and a team of experts (forensic accountants, business valuators, appraisers of fine art, antique and jewelry collections and real estate appraisers) at its disposal to effectively and successfully produce the optimal results you desire. High profile clients additionally require an attorney with discretion, availability and expertise who is sensitive to the complexities unique to such cases.
Jeannie E. Fridey, Esquire has a history of successfully representing both high-profile and high-asset clients. She possesses the knowledge, skill, experience and resources necessary to navigate the needs and issues unique to these clients.Read More
If part of the marital estate consists of a business, it is essential that you have qualified experts with specialized training to analyze and/or value the business. A business valuator identifies the ability of the business to generate income both now and in the future. It looks at what price the business could bring in an arm’s length transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller. Among many other factors, a business valuator analyzes how much the value of the business is dependent on the present owner. When parties are divorcing, it is not uncommon for the spouse who owns the business to attempt to conceal the value of it by hiding the true income of the business. On the other hand, the non-owner spouse (understanding that the business may be considered marital property) is often convinced that the business has a value that is simply unrealistic. For this reason, business valuations are important because they seek to provide an accurate picture of the value of the business. The Law Offices of Jeannie Fridey has relationships with highly qualified professionals whose reputations and work are relied upon by the courts in accurately valuing businesses.Read More
There are many types of agreements that parties can enter into within the context of family or matrimonial law. They can be entered into prior to any dispute taking place, such as prenuptial agreements. These set forth each side’s rights and responsibilities prior to a marriage. Resolving a dispute by entering into a settlement agreement with the other side is an option that is always available to parties in family law matters. Entering into a support, custody or equitable distribution agreement with the opposing side is an alternative that may be more desirable than proceeding in court and having a judge (who is a stranger) decide a matter for the parties. Agreements entail compromise, i.e., giving up certain things a party may want in order to get something else that is more important to him/her. It is often better to enter into an acceptable settlement agreement over which the parties can exercise some control than to relinquish that control to a stranger.
Agreements can be entered as orders of the court and, as such, parties have the benefit of the court's enforcement powers. If the other party is violating the terms of an agreement, the aggrieved party can petition the court to enforce the terms of the agreement.
It is important for a party to select an attorney who is willing to encourage him/her to enter into an agreement if an amicable resolution is possible and can successfully resolve the concerns of the client. The longer a case takes to resolve and the level of acrimony between parties can take a huge emotional and financial toll. It is also vital to select an attorney who is a gifted negotiator and who possesses superior writing skills. Jeannie E. Fridey, Esquire possesses these skills. When a resolution is not possible and court proceedings become necessary, she is a highly skilled litigator and fierce advocate. Please refer to the "Agreements and Enforceability" section under the “Resources” tab for a more in-depth discussion on these topics.Read More
Every person deserves to feel safe in their relationships and homes. No one has the right to harm or threaten violence against another. Pennsylvania has statutes and procedures to protect individuals from harm and/or the reasonable fear of injury. Physical violence and/or threats of violence cannot be tolerated; therefore, protection laws are necessary and valuable.
On the other hand, sometimes when relationships are ending, and for the purpose of attempting to gain an advantage, individuals exploit the laws and falsely accuse his/her significant other of abuse. The consequences of false allegations can be life-altering; therefore, exploitation of those laws to gain an unfair advantage is inexcusable and must not be tolerated.
Whether you are seeking protection from violence or threats of violence or you are seeking protection from someone who is misusing the law, the Law Offices of Jeannie Fridey can help. Jeannie Fridey, Esquire has an outstanding track record with protection from abuse cases. She has a history of ensuring that adequate protection orders are put into place for people who have been harmed or threatened. She has also been very successful in exposing false accusations and protecting innocent defendants from the life-altering consequences of false allegations.Read More