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Category Archives: Custody

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AN HOUR ON THE TEENAGE BRAIN

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues

The January 28 edition of Terry Gross’ Fresh Air distributed by National Public Radio featured an interview with the chair of the University of Pennsylvania Neurology Department, Frances Jensen.  The subject was a relatively in depth discussion of the teenage brain. At one level a lot of this is news that has been available. The… Continue Reading

SUPERIOR COURT AFFIRMS THAT MASTER’S RECOMMENDATION IS STILL JUST A RECOMMENDATION

Posted in Custody, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

The process of equitable distribution is multi-stage, often involving one or more conferences with a “master” specifically assigned to the case and who is an expert in equitable distribution. The master develops a recommendation which can be accepted by the parties; negotiated further, or; rejected outright by one or both parties who take exception to… Continue Reading

HAPPY NEW YEAR – LET’S TALK SUMMER VACATION

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues, Support

Discussing “how to survive the holidays” during the holidays is a pretty standard article for people to write. For many clients, such articles allow for self-reflection on how they approach the holidays and their interaction with their ex-spouse; or it helps build some confidence that they will manage the uncomfortable situations which arise around extended… Continue Reading

BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN OUTWEIGH PARENTS EFFORTS AT REUNIFICATION

Posted in Adoption, Child Abuse, Custody

We’ve written about the process of terminating a parent’s custodial rights to their child an different cases presenting unique and unusual circumstances. In some instances, the process is almost rote due to parental ambivalence to the situation; the parent has made no real effort to be a parent to the child and allows the process… Continue Reading

USING CHILD ABUSE CLEARANCE RENEWALS IN CUSTODY LITIGATION

Posted in Custody

A. Kyle Berman of my office in Blue Bell, recently issues an alert about the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s amendment to the Child Protective Services Law (the CPSL). Kyle focuses his attention on criminal background checks, child abuse clearances, and how Act 153 requires all prospective employees, current employees, independent contractors and volunteers to get and… Continue Reading

(UPDATE) 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