By Ellen S. Fischer, Esq. and Erica N. Briant, Esq. There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania, and each county has its own rules for deciding when and whether it is appropriate to waive the publication requirement when filing a Petition for Name Change. The law is clear. Anyone can change his or her name provided it is not done for fraudulent reasons. To show that the name change is not for fraudulent reasons, the law requires that notice of the… Read More >
Question: “My brother recently died. His domestic partner of 15-17 years has employed a lawyer who has sent me and my other 3 siblings a letter asking us to renounce all claims to his estate. We feel that our brother may have left some financial parts of his estate to us as beneficiaries of those parts (i.e. life insurance or 401k’s). His domestic partner (not legally married) has told us that she can’t establish any legal claim to his estate unless… Read More >
by: Ellen Fischer Last Thursday was the saddest and hardest day in my career. I volunteer as a child advocate with Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, representing children in Protection from Abuse cases. A few months ago, I was asked to represent two children, a sister and brother-ages 7 and 4, in Dependency Court. This is the court where children, who have been removed from their parents on account of drugs and neglect, have their cases heard. My case had a… Read More >
As featured in MONTCO.TODAY’s “Ask a Real Lawyer” Question: My friend told me to find a collaborative lawyer for my divorce. I am not really sure what that is. Can someone explain this to me and tell me if there are collaborative lawyers in Montgomery County? Answer: Collaborative Divorce is a no court alternative to the traditional litigated divorce, child custody, property distribution, and support cases. Each spouse or partner retains a collaboratively trained family law attorney and then all of us sign… Read More >
I became an ally to the transgender community, and hence the entire LGBTQIA community, 25 years ago when I was asked by a friend from New York to represent a transgender woman who needed representation in her Pennsylvania custody case. She had relocated from Pennsylvania, where her ex-wife and children lived, to New York. When her ex-Wife learned she was transitioning, she refused to allow the children to visit on the basis that it was not in the children’s best… Read More >
By: Ellen Fischer, Esquire and Henry Yampolsky, Esquire Whether you grew up watching 90210, Real World or MTV Beach House, today’s modern families are evolving beyond what was even in the 1990’s considered abhorrent or abnormal family life given that these shows addressed such topics as homosexuality, bisexuality, AIDS, drugs, addiction and abortion. Same sex marriage, polyamorous relationships, transgender, multi-cultural, fluid, and multi-generational are just a few ways modern families are redefining themselves. Our current Divorce Code, which was first introduced… Read More >
By: Ellen S. Fischer, Esquire When I first started practicing Collaborative Divorce more than 20 years ago, the “team” consisted of two lawyers and two clients. We would schedule four-way meetings where we could sit comfortably at a table and have meaningful discussions that resulted in the divorcing couple reaching resolution with dignity and respect. It seemed like the perfect alternative to ugly divorce litigation. But oftentimes, there was much emotionality and much sadness reverberating from these folks that simply… Read More >
John C. Fenningham has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell as AV Preeminent for 2017 – Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence.