Author Archives: James E. Mahood

Same-sex couples have been given expanded recognition in federal law matters, including bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits. The states that do not recognize same-sex marriages will apply the benefits in those instances where the U.S. Government has jurisdiction. See NBC News re same-sex couple benefits

A Federal Judge in Texas has ruled that the state’s law banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. However, the Judge ruled that the law would remain in place until the matter was heard on appeal by the Federal Appeals Court. See Bloomberg article

Recent applications for marriage licenses by several same-sex couples in Allegheny County were denied. See Post-Gazette article: same sex marriage licenses denied

A Kansas sperm donor has been ordered to pay child support, despite an agreement to have no involvement and/or responsibility for the child. The sperm donor is seeking to appeal the decision. See links below. ABC News USA Today

The filing of tax returns may be an issue for separated or divorced parties, including the filing status for the respective returns, the claiming of children as dependents, and the reporting of the payment or receipt of alimony, alimony pendente lite or spousal support. Such issues are discussed in the following article from the Pittsburgh […]

In Kimock v. Jones, 47 A.3d 850 (Pa.Super. 2012), the Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling in the parties’ child support proceeding. The parties were married for eleven years, having one daughter during such time. Father was physically and verbally abusive to Mother and the child. After the parties’ separation, Father went extended periods […]

In Lugg v. Lugg, 64 A.3d 1109 (Pa.Super. 2013), the Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s decision regarding the parties’ postnuptial agreement. Husband and Wife were married for approximately 13 years, having had three children during the course of their marriage. In August, 2010, in contemplation of divorce, the parties began negotiating a postnuptial agreement. […]

The Superior Court addressed the termination of a father’s parental rights in regards to a same-sex couple’s adoption In the Matter of L.J.I., 57 A.3d 1278 (Pa.Super. 2012). In the case, Mother and Father were not married, and their relationship ended prior to Mother giving birth to a daughter. Father saw his daughter during the […]

Do spouses who are separated, but not divorced, have to worry about losing their beneficiary status under life insurance policies or pension plans of the other spouse? Generally, the named beneficiary under life insurance or annuity contracts can be changed by direction of the owner of the policy without notice to the beneficiary. Most all […]

A party’s right to claim one’s child as a dependent on income tax returns depends upon the number of overnight custody periods the child spends with that parent. The parent with the greater number of overnight custody periods of the child during a tax year will be entitled to claim the child as a dependent […]