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Pennsylvania Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can my 17 year old daughter move out of her abusive mother's house to live with us? She doesn't want to live with her.

Her mother is abusive, does drugs, smokes, and drinks. She doesn't want to live with the abuse anymore and wants to live with us. Her mom won't consent to her moving out. We live in ND, she's in PA.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jun 21, 2024

This is a complex situation involving family law, child custody, and potentially child welfare issues across state lines. Here's an overview of key points to consider:

1. Age of majority: In Pennsylvania, the age of majority is 18. At 17, your daughter is still legally a minor....
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Civil Rights and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: If you do not come to a PFA hearing can you get arrested?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 25, 2024

If you are involved in a Protection From Abuse (PFA) case and fail to attend the hearing, the consequences depend on your role in the case. If you are the petitioner, the one who requested the PFA, not showing up could result in the dismissal of your case. This means the protective order may not be... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Question about court order

We went to court last week. While in court the father told the judge he will put our daughter on his insurance to help with therapy costs. The Orders states "father offers to add child to insurance to help with out of picket therapy costs". Now he's saying he's not required to... View More

Allison Kruk Ormond
Allison Kruk Ormond
answered on Mar 12, 2024

From the way the Order is written, it does not appear to bind Father into placing the child on his medical insurance. It merely states that Father "offered" to place the child on his insurance, not that the Court mandates him to do so. However, there may be a creative legal argument that... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Question about court order

We went to court last week. While in court the father told the judge he will put our daughter on his insurance to help with therapy costs. The Orders states "father offers to add child to insurance to help with out of picket therapy costs". Now he's saying he's not required to... View More

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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answered on Mar 10, 2024

This is not an easy question. Pennsylvania judges all too often shoot from the hip, and they can either contempt a parent or not based on what is written or what is not written in a court order.

Here, the order appears to provide that "dad offers" which is not an order at all. The...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have family members and their partners threatening to kidnap my children, my husband family hates me and threaten us

They hate that we’re together and fixing issues in our marriage and have been very agressive with actions trying to manipulate him to leaving. He fought back and stayed by my side and now his family is threatening to kidnap the kids. Local cops said best thing to do is run away but that doesn’t... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

It's understandable that you feel frightened and overwhelmed by the threats your family members and their partners are making against your children. It's crucial to take these threats seriously and seek assistance from law enforcement immediately. You can file a report with the police... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I send my kids to their dad's if the person that's supposed to be supervising the visits leaves him alone with them
Jasmit Kaur Dhaliwal
Jasmit Kaur Dhaliwal
answered on Feb 21, 2024

Establishing paternity is sometimes necessary to clarify rights and obligations. Paternity suits can be initiated to determine biological fatherhood through a blood test. This allows a biological father to secure visitation rights or enables a mother to obtain child support from an unwilling... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I send my kids to their dad's if the person that's supposed to be supervising the visits leaves him alone with them
Karen  Ulmer
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answered on Mar 6, 2024

If the supervisor is leaving the children alone and there is a supervisor order then you need to file for contempt of court and have a court hear your case on an emergency basis. Supervision is put in place for a reason and you may have to file a Protection From Abuse to get an immediate hearing... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Pennsylvania on
Q: Really need advice, not sure how to go about this

Hi my name is Alicia. I'm not sure who I contact or even how to go about this issue. Me and my ex have a 3 yr old daughter, she hasn't let me see her in months. We have a signed and notorized contract. The baby also has my lastname. Is there any chance I have some type of rights? Or... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 22, 2024

Alicia, in your situation, having a notarized contract regarding custody or visitation rights is significant. This document may outline your rights regarding your daughter. However, the enforceability of such a contract can vary depending on its contents and how it aligns with Pennsylvania family... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My in-laws are suing me for custody of my daughter, who I have custody of

She was staying there when the grandmother was sick and helping out and never came home. I’ve asked many times but my daughter says it’s easier since there is a woman up there and we are men down here. They are only a quarter mile from me and I do as my daughter ask Rides to Doctor appointments... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 4, 2024

In custody disputes, the court's primary consideration is the best interests of the child. Pennsylvania law generally favors the involvement of both parents in a child's life unless it can be demonstrated that it would not be in the child's best interests. In your case, it may be... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I be held in contempt for keeping our child after my ex says they don’t want to see them during their time?
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Dec 20, 2023

In Pennsylvania, if your ex-partner willingly decides not to exercise their scheduled custody time and explicitly communicates that they don't want to see the child during their designated time, it is unlikely that you would be held in contempt for keeping the child during that period.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I be held in contempt for keeping our child after my ex says they don’t want to see them during their time?
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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answered on Dec 29, 2023

One must be very cautious about raising a child in a broken home under custody court orders in Pennsylvania. The word "contempt" can trigger various sanctions available under the custody contempt statute, and the Superior Court has affirmed contempt orders because it is putting its foot... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a mental health counselor that has treated the mother and father represent just the mother I. A child custody matter

The counselor is a mental health counselor at a center the mother and I both receive treatment at. Now the counselor is acting as a attorney for Mt ex the mother of my 5 yea old son in a custody.matter. she had access to all my personal Imformation. I'm not sure what ti do or who to contact... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Oct 12, 2023

That is an interesting, and somewhat novel, professional ethics question. I would report the individual to the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors and to the Pennsylvania State Bar Association and let them sort it out.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Am I able to get visitation rights being my mother refuses to let me see my children?

My mother has full custody of my 2 younger children and she stopped letting me see my to children and blocked me on social media and changed her number without warning

Karen  Ulmer
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answered on Jul 27, 2023

I am sorry to hear of your situation, it must be extremely painful. If your parental rights have not been terminated, you will need to file a Modification of your current custody order if your current custody order does not provide any scheduled visitation for you. Whatever issues you were having... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: What are the steps to take for a mother and father to remove a grandparent from a custody order?
Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Jun 24, 2023

Assuming the grandparent doesn't wish to agree to be removed, the parents would have to file a petition to modify the custody order. Before doing so, I strongly suggest that the parents speak with a local attorney experienced in familyu law for a private consultation during which they can... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: In Pennsylvania how do I communicate with judge regarding custody.

The custody order states son should be in therapy within 7 days but I can't get appointment until June 12, 2023. The hearing is scheduled for May 30 and trial is June 12, 2023. I want to inform him of this but can't contact him by phone. Can I write him a letter or do I have to file... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Apr 4, 2023

You should hire an attorney to assist you in preparing a motion to extend the time to begin therapy with affidavits from yourself and every relevant therapist explaining in detail why you are unable to get a therapy appointment scheduled earlier.

If the court ordered therapy to begin in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: My partner is trying to divorce her ex husband. He has lived in WA for over a year with their son. Their other..

2 children live with her and I here in PA. PA doesn’t have jurisdiction over her son and WA doesn’t have jurisdiction over her daughters. How can a custody agreement be filed? Does it have to be filed separately for the son in WA and for the daughters here? Should we get an attorney?

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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answered on Apr 3, 2023

This is an expensive mess. Ordinarily, both parties would file their divorce actions in each state and will serve each other in each other's state. Then, a motion for an interim order of custody gets filed in each state and each state's judge will hold a UCCJEA conference to determine... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can my daughter's father move people into his home without notifying me?

My ex and his girlfriend recently moved his girlfriends parents into the home. Her father has Dementia and I am very concerned about him being around my child when she spends the night over there. People with dementia get confused easily and sometimes do things that are out of character or... View More

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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answered on Apr 3, 2023

The daughters father can live with anyone he wants any time he wants as long as the child is not placed in imminent danger to life or health. Having a demented elderly parent is not a risk factor for a child, at least not without further information.

Hypothetically, if the elderly demented...
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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can my daughter's father move people into his home without notifying me?

My ex and his girlfriend recently moved his girlfriends parents into the home. Her father has Dementia and I am very concerned about him being around my child when she spends the night over there. People with dementia get confused easily and sometimes do things that are out of character or... View More

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 3, 2023

Please consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area. In PA, parents are entitled to know the criminal history of anyone who resides in the household of the other custodial parent. If your concerns involve other issues, such as whether there might be safety issues which involve the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can the filer of a pfa get into trouble if she agrees to be around the defendant?

They do also have a child together whom they share 50/50 custody of.

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Feb 13, 2023

Unlikely because the order is not against the filer. However, why would the filer want to place the defendant in jeopardy of going to jail by encouraging the defendant to violate the PFA order? If the filer wants to spend time with the defendant, then the filer reevaluate the nature of the abuse... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: What steps should I take to file for divorce and custody in Ford City Pennsylvania.

I've been the only income for pretty much the whole 6 yr relationship. We have a 4yr old daughter. He's stayed home with her. And still refuses to get a job now that she's in headstart. And it's been nothing but emotional abuse and gaslighting. I have 3 son's from a... View More

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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answered on Feb 10, 2023

This by no means is a "better" answer than that of my colleague. This merely supplements to a small extent an already effective response.

The asker must retain counsel. One cannot possibly rely on the integrity, impartiality and independence of the Pennsylvania judiciary....
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