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Category Archives: Custody

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PA CHILD ABDUCTED BY FATHER IN SEATTLE – OCEAN CROSSING FEARED

Posted in Custody

About a month and a half ago I wrote about parental kidnappings and Pennsylvania’s statute designed to prevent such situations.  Based on numerous reports going back to mid-September, it unfortunately appears that such a situation is occurring right now out of Seattle, Washington. Around September 12th, Seattle area newspaper blogs and other forums began reporting… Continue Reading

DAD’S SELF-IMPOSED CUSTODY “TAX” IS ENFORCEABLE

Posted in Custody

It is well established in Pennsylvania that it is against public policy to allow parents to bargain away child support for their children, but what about “taxing” themselves whenever they file a custody action? That is essentially the question raised in the Huss v. Weaver case before the Pennsylvania Superior Court. The Superior Court ruled… Continue Reading

IS COLLEGE PLANNING A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues, Support

Today began with a meeting with co-counsel and clients to follow through on matters we had resolved by agreement reached earlier in the summer.  The parties have two children, one of whom is heading into the age of college search.  Our agreements contain some reasonably clear provisions about continuous enrollment, consultation with parents and suitable… Continue Reading

COLLEGE SUPPORT AND THE APPARENT REVIVAL OF MILNE V. MILNE

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Support

MAZUREK v. RUSSELL   2014 Pa Super. 130 (2014) College provisions in property settlement issues have always been a source of controversy.  The typical provision calls for mutual consent “which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld”.  The language seems clear enough when pen is set to paper but when enrollment time comes the games begin as… Continue Reading

A PAGE TURNER OPINION FROM MONTGOMERY COUNTY REMINDS US OF WHAT IS AND ISN’T RELEVANT IN A CUSTODY CASE

Posted in Adoption, Custody, Divorce

One of the most difficult concepts for lay persons to understand in the law is the rule stating that only relevant evidence is admissible in judicial proceedings.  The concept would seem self-evident as no one would disagree with the principle that courts should not waste time considering irrelevant evidence.  But when faced with a case… Continue Reading

WHAT’S IN A NAME? MORE THAN YOU THINK

Posted in Adoption, Custody, Practice Issues

Periodically I am asked questions about name changes for children or whether a mother is obligated to use the biological father’s last name for the child (answer: she’s not). A child’s last name is obviously an important and complicated issue that relates to the child’s identity and understanding of their history and parents. Mishandling a… Continue Reading

DON’T MISS THE BUS: SEPARATED PARENTS ENTITLED TO MULTIPLE RESIDENCES AND BUS STOPS FOR KIDS

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues

Where a child will attend school is often a hotly contested issue in a custody case, however, school transportation can easily be an after-thought. After the dust clears on the custody trial, the parents simply look to the school district to bus their child to and from school; Mom’s house one day and Dad’s house… Continue Reading

REFORMING CHILD ABUSE LAWS IN PENNSYLVANIA

Posted in Child Abuse, Custody, Protection from Abuse

On December 18th, Governor Corbett signed into law a bill updating Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws. When the abuses perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky were exposed, Pennsylvania’s child abuse statutes were scrutinized and found lacking in many respects. Sara Ganim of the Harriburg area Patriot-News wrote an excellent summary of these criticisms in November 2012. The investigation and… Continue Reading

DON’T HESITATE…ARBITRATE

Posted in Alimony, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Support

One of the difficult aspects of taking a complex case to trial is not the subject matter, necessarily, but the Court’s ability to schedule several consecutive days of trial.  Due to case volume, the court administrators can rarely carve out two or more consecutive days of trial without significant advance notice and, often, direct instruction… Continue Reading

THE RIGHT TO TWEET IN A CUSTODY CASE

Posted in Custody

The Arizona Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the custody case of Steve Nash, the point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.  The opinion upheld the trial court’s decision, which prohibited either party from disparaging the other on social media.  The issue arose initially when Nash’s ex-wife tweeted some disparaging comments about Nash.  Nash’s… Continue Reading

NO EMAIL – IS YOUR LAWYER OLD SCHOOL OR IRRESPONSIBLE

Posted in Adoption, Alimony, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Prenuptial Agreements, Protection from Abuse, Same Sex Marriage, Support

A South Carolina attorney was recently disciplined for failing to have an active email address. Despite characterizing herself as “retired” and not having a client in thirty years, the South Carolina Disciplinary Board still found that she “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public and to the administration of justice” for repeatedly… Continue Reading

NEW TWISTS IN THE CREEPING DOCTRINE OF PATERNITY BY ESTOPPEL

Posted in Custody

Attorneys sometimes read appellate cases and wonders “why?”  This is one such case; a case with any easy result made complicated and difficult for reasons not easily understood. The facts of R.K.J. v. S.P.K. 2013 Pa. Super. 259 (9/26/13) are easily condensed.  Man and woman have a multi-year relationship which borders upon marriage but that… Continue Reading

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING

Posted in Custody

Despite that it is only early October, the holidays will be here before you know it.  Retailers are ready, with aisles full of Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.  If you share custody of your children, you should be ready too.  Here are a few tips: 1.            KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTODY ORDER SAYS:  Even if you think… Continue Reading

DELAWARE’S STAND-BY GUARDIAN IS RESPONSIBLE PLANNING

Posted in Custody

Leslie Spoltore in our Wilmington office recently wrote on the Delaware Trial Practice Blog about Delaware’s “stand-by guardian” laws which allow a parent or guardian “afflicted with a progressive, chronic condition or terminal illness to make arrangements for the future care of their child without terminating their own legal rights.”  This law allows parents and… Continue Reading

MORE JUDICIAL CLARITY ON CUSTODY DECISIONS

Posted in Custody

In 2012 we saw the arrival of a new custody statute that gave the Courts more substantive and procedural guidance concerning how to decide custody cases and a subset of those cases: specifically, relocation.  Since that date we have been awaiting civil rules to fill in the details.  They have not yet arrived, but as… Continue Reading