Obermayer Family Matters

Obermayer Family Matters

Medicaid Expansion May Reduce Medical Divorce Rates

Posted in Divorce

Medical divorce is a term coined some years ago to describe a divorce obtained for medical reasons. More specifically, according to an article by George Diepenbrock, researchers defined “medical divorce” as “an instance where one partner becomes diagnosed with a degenerative disease, such as early onset dementia. The couple could drain its assets, including retirement savings, to pay for treatment. However, some couples instead choose to divorce to shield one person’s assets. The sick partner would eventually qualify for Medicaid.” Continue Reading

Fletcher Cox Case Brings Attention to the Claim of Alienation of Affection

Posted in Divorce, Separation

A lawsuit in North Carolina related to the end of a marriage has garnered a great deal of media coverage lately.  The Charlotte Observer reported that Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman, Fletcher Cox, is being sued by a Huntersville, North Carolina man.  The suit alleges Fletcher Cox seduced the man’s wife and ruined their marriage. Continue Reading

Are We Headed for Divorce Season?

Posted in Divorce

An article in Medical News Today  highlights a study by University of Washington Associate sociology Prof. Julie Brines and doctoral candidate Brian Serafini that found patterns in the timing of filing for divorce. Specifically, the study found “biannual patterns of filings for divorce – that divorce is seasonal during the periods following winter and summer vacations.” Continue Reading

Parental Alienation in High Conflict Custody Cases

Posted in Custody, Pennsylvania

One of the most challenging aspects of divorce for parents is learning to move past the marital conflict in order to promote a healthy relationship between the children and a soon-to-be ex. All too often, in high conflict divorce, parents lose sight of how their behavior towards one another affects their children. Regardless of how contentious the divorce becomes, it is crucial that parents keep children out of the marital conflict as it can have lasting and damaging emotional consequences for the children and legal consequences for the parent. In recent years, courts have adjudicated an increasing number of custody cases involving parental alienation, which is when one parent consciously or unconsciously undermines and interferes with the children’s relationships with the other parent. Continue Reading

The Trials of Co-Parenting with a Histrionic Personality

Posted in Custody

Co-parenting a child with a divorced spouse is difficult enough, but what do you do when your divorced spouse is diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder? The characteristics of this disorder are that the person exhibits extreme emotions, self-dramatization, self-centeredness, shallow emotions, and constant approval seeking and attention from others.  In most histrionic diagnoses, the person suffering from the disorder is a woman.  Continue Reading

Is The Decision To Divorce Genetic?

Posted in Divorce

Virginia Commonwealth University recently announced the results of a new study examining the battle of nature v. nurture in divorce.  According to the new study, “’Genetics, the Rearing Environment, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Swedish National Adoption Study,’ which . . . analyzed Swedish population registries and found that people who were adopted resembled their biological — but not adoptive – parents and siblings in their histories of divorce.”  Continue Reading

Under New Jersey’s New Child Relocation Standard, Best Interests is King

Posted in Custody, New Jersey, Relocation

In a much anticipated decision issued on August 8, 2017, the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Bisbing v. Bisbing overturned the well-established standard applied by courts in determining whether a primary custodian should be permitted to relocate out-of-state with a minor child. The Bisbing Court abandoned the two-prong test for relocation which the Court developed in the 2001 case of Baures v. Lewis in favor of a “best interests of the child” standard. Continue Reading

Marital Property Versus Non-Marital Property

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution

Absent a prenuptial agreement, the definition of marital property is an item acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage. Therefore, any property that was purchased and/or owned by a spouse prior to the parties’ date of marriage would constitute pre-marital property and any property that was purchased after the parties’ date of separation would constitute post-separation property.  Both pre-marital and post-separation property are considered non-marital property and are not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce proceeding. Continue Reading

Child Custody, Relocation, Contempt and Modification

Posted in Custody, Relocation

Obermayer’s Family Law Group partner, Michael E. Bertin authored the following article on child custody.

Two of the most talked about ­issues among family law practitioners and the bench are child relocation cases and whether custody orders may be ­modified at contempt hearings. I’ve written numerous times on these issues. Over the years, there have been multiple cases from the state Superior Court that address these issues. Every so often, a case comes down that causes one to scratch his head or provide clarity and further direction regarding issues such as these.   Continue Reading.


Bertin, M

Child custody and divorce attorney, Michael E. Bertin is a partner at the law firm of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP.  Mr. Bertin is co-author of the book Pennsylvania Child Custody Law, Practice, and Procedure.  Mr. Bertin was selected by Best Lawyers in America and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a former Chair of the Family Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the current Co-Chair of its Custody Committee, and held the officer position of Secretary of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Mr. Bertin works out of Obermayer’s Philadelphia and Conshohocken, PA offices and he can be reached at 215-665-3280 or at michael.bertin@obermayer.com.