Header graphic for print
Pennsylvania Family Law Updates, Events & Useful Tips Surrounding Family Law Issues

Category Archives: Custody

Subscribe to Custody RSS Feed

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

Paperwork

Posted in Custody

I recently completed my twins’ paperwork for their upcoming year at pre-school – quite the accomplishment!  Maybe it’s because there are two of them, but it was a lot of paperwork.  Some of the forms’ questions triggered me to think about custody matters, and how important it is that you let your child’s school know… Continue Reading

A lesson from the U.S. Open

Posted in Custody

Maybe it’s because I am a woman who works (and who recently returned from a second maternity leave), but I read a lot about women working and how they try to balance it all (working, being a spouse, and rearing good kids) and articles asking if it is possible for women to “have it all.” … Continue Reading

Important Child Protections in Immigration Reform Bill

Posted in Custody

Earlier this week the United States Senate Judiciary Committee finished adding fifty (50) amendments to a significant immigration reform bill.  Those amendments were joined by another thirty-five (35) and last night the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to pass the bill and it will be presented to the Senate after the Memorial Day recess. Notable… Continue Reading

REQUIEM FOR PARENTAL COORDINATION IN PENNSYLVANIA

Posted in Custody

My colleague Aaron Weems has already reported that late last month the Pennsylvania Supreme Court put an end to what was a five year experiment with court appointed ombudsmen tasked to decide minor custody disputes where the need to have a prompt resolution outweighed an assessment of how a particular custody issue affected a child’s best… Continue Reading

New Rule: No Parent Coordinators Allowed

Posted in Custody

Remember earlier this year when I wrote about the Superior Court’s ruling that a party has a right to a de novo hearing for a custody coordinator’s decision? Well, forget all of that.  As of today, April 23rd, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted Rule 1915.11-1 which states that parent coordinators are no more and the… Continue Reading