Scranton Pennsylvania Law Blog

What is implied consent in Pennsylvania?

Have you ever heard of the saying, “driving is a privilege, it is not a right?” That is the basis of implied consent. When you sign the application to receive your driver’s license, part of what you are agreeing to is to submit to a chemical test if requested by a police officer during a traffic stop. A chemical test is used to determine your blood alcohol level and you can be tested by breath, urine or blood. The test can be done by breath on the roadside during the stop or at the police station or medical facility.

You do have the right to refuse the test. However, you will need to be prepared to face strict penalties for the refusal regardless if you are found guilty of DUI. One thing to also keep in mind: you can challenge your test if the arresting officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to administer the test.

Alimony increase in 2019

Alimony, often called spousal support or maintenance, will change significantly in 2019. The new tax law will not allow alimony to be deductible by the payor or taxable to the recipient. Instead, income taxes on alimony payments will now be paid by the alimony payor, instead of the spouse receiving the alimony payment.

Creating a parenting plan for successful coparenting

Divorced or separated parents who time-share a child must work together with their partner parent to foster a respectful coparenting relationship. Pennsylvania requires parents to submit a parenting plan during custody proceedings to outline how the child will be cared for in the future.

The purpose of a parenting plan

Stepkids and your increased odds of a second divorce

In theory, having been through one marriage--and a divorce--should teach you some things. Oscar Wilde said that experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. Yes, mistakes were made, but we learned from them. And now we are ready for marriage number two. The odds should be better this time, right?

Well, no, actually. Approximately 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce. The odds of divorce increases to 60 percent for second marriages, unless both partners have kids--then it rises to 70 percent.

Survey: Many teens don't know it's illegal to drive while high

It's disquieting news. The majority of states have now legalized marijuana for at least some purposes, but the message about driving under the influence of marijuana is not getting out. Driving while high is still illegal in all 50 states. It's also dangerous.

Unfortunately, it appears that some teens -- and some of their parents -- don't know that, according to a recent survey by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual insurance. The survey, which was performed this last April and May, found:

  • 33 percent of 2,800 teens surveyed thought driving while high was legal in states where marijuana is legal for recreational use
  • 27 percent of 1,000 parents surveyed thought that, too
  • 20 percent of the teens and 14 percent of the parents said that driving while high is common among their friends
  • While 88 percent of teens knew that driving drunk is dangerous, only 68 percent knew that driving while high is dangerous

Can unwed fathers gain child custody rights?

You and your girlfriend had a child together, but were never married. Now the relationship is over and you are worried that you are seeing less and less of your child.

You each have your own home and your ex-girlfriend lives with your child. When you tried to discuss co-parenting options, she told you that it was not a possibility. What are your rights as a father, and how can you make sure that you have access to your child?

Do I have to pay child support over the summer?

During the school year, children often live primarily with one parent. However, once summer break starts children may switch households completely, split their time evenly between mom and dad's house or spend extended vacations with one parent.

This change in custody arrangements can lead the parent who is paying child support to question whether they have to pay support over summer break. So, do child support payments continue during summer break? The answer, in short, is yes.