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Pennsylvania Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I was in a coma for three days the doctor found meth in my system somehow Child Protective Services found out

I didn't give my permission for them to look at my medical records and they didn't get a court order either but somehow they found out. Is there anything I can do about them violated my HIPAA rights

Timothy Kraeer
Timothy Kraeer answered on Nov 25, 2020

It's likely that the information made it to CYS via reporting by one of the medical providers that treated you. Medical professionals are required by statute to report whenever there is a reasonable concern that a person responsible for the care of a child is under the influence of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a defendant be held in contempt if the plaintiff and defendant exchange their child during arranged custody times?

The PFA allows contact when it pertains to the child.

Mr. Ryan L Hyde
Mr. Ryan L Hyde answered on Nov 15, 2020

It depends (I know, not the answer anyone wants). For just a cuatody exchange the answer is no. However, in my experience if something gets said that isnt custody related the answer is yes. Which is why so many family attorneys recommend custody exchanges at police stations in these types of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a parent get in trouble if a child stumbles upon content in their phone ?
Mr. Ryan L Hyde
Mr. Ryan L Hyde answered on Oct 1, 2020

Depends on the content. Depends on what "stumbles" means. Depends on who the child is. Depends on who reported it and to whom they reported it. Depends on a lot of things. Generally, there is no real good answer to this question. Don't post more facts online as you don't... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Are you allowed to give your lawyer the questions you want asked at custody modification hearing?
Mr. Ryan L Hyde
Mr. Ryan L Hyde answered on Sep 19, 2020

Sure, but they dont have to ask them. There are plenty of reasons you want to ask those questions but there may be good reasons not to ask them. If you hired an attorney you trusted them to get you a result. Presumably they have litigated more of these hearings than you have. If you dont trust... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Once a Motion To Reconsider is filed and marked by the court, does the Judge have a time limit to respond...if at all?

A MTR was filed within the allotted time. It was marked by the court. It has now been 20 days and I have yet to hear anything. A contempt complaint that was filed at the same time, was scheduled within 15 days.

Charles William Michaels
Charles William Michaels answered on Sep 3, 2020

Unless there's a Rule limiting the court's time to respond, there's no time limit. However, if the motion is denied, that ruling will start the clock running on noting the appeal--if you want to do that.

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am looking for tips on how best to research for an appellate lawyer for a child relocation ruling in Bucks County, PA.
Charles William Michaels
Charles William Michaels answered on Jul 22, 2020

I can draft a brief but I am not admitted to practice in PA. You will have to find co-counsel in PA who can enter his/her appearance, can file the brief and can do any oral argument. I have done briefs in PA courts and I am familiar with family law issues.

What is the deadline on the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Does a emergency custody order need to be signed by a judge

My friend received a letter in the mail and a text from the other parties lawyer stating that there is an emergency order put into place. When reviewing the paperwork that was sent from the other parties lawyer there was no judge signature or anything.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 8, 2020

Yes, a judge's signature (whether actual or electronic) is necessary. You should be able to get it directly from the Court or the other party's attorney. And you should demand to see it.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have not seen my 4 year old son in 8 weeks.

His father won't outright deny me the ability but keeps making up excuses every time I ask or have plans to go there because he wont allow me to take him with me. We were never married. I was however married to my daughters father when my son was born. We had to fill out certain paperwork in... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 5, 2020

The police won't enforce a *court* custody order, much less your say-so over who is supposed to have physical custody of your son. Cops aren't in the business of using kids as a rope in a game of tug-of-war between warring parents, and they'll refer you to the court once they make... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: what wil happen if my child refuses to go to fathers on schedule date?

My 9 year ole daughters refuses to go to her fathers every other monday when it time to go. What will happen to myself, mom if I dont make her. I have already file to modify custody but of course that is 30 days away. Shes ready too talk to judge, but I know I have to wait for trial.

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jul 2, 2020

The court expects you to follow its orders. Your daughter is 9 years old and not in control- you are because you are an adult and you are her parent. Tell her she must follow the order. Do no say anything bad about the dad. If the judge is willing, she can have her say in 30 days. That's not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Ex's new gf has a DUI & open drug possession/paraphernalia charges. Can I modify custody to protect daughter?

Ex and new gf fight constantly in front of daughter in her car and drive around drinking alcohol. She also continuously calls me derogatory names in front of daughter.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 29, 2020

You can file a petition to modify the terms of your custody order *anytime,* and the court will assess any change in circumstances as it relates to the best interests of your daughter. A past DUI on Dad's new girlfriend's record may have little relevance to custody proceedings, esp. if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Why would it be helpful to allow the other parent to file for custody first?

The child is mainly with me an goes with other parent on weekends there are safety concerns with the other parent such as him drinking an driving an even showing up to pick child up with an open container in vehicle. When I spoke with a lawyer the suggested to let him file first but im confused as... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 25, 2020

The only reason I can think of to let the other parent file first is to save yourself the court filing fee of opening up a custody case (which can run a few hundred dollars, and is $155.00 in Lycoming County).

Pennsylvania criminal law already prohibits a person from driving while...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: I got emergency custody of kids bc father went to jail. We have a modification hearing this week if he's looking at 5yrs

will I get full custody

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 22, 2020

The Court will be more interested in what sentence your children's father actually receives, and less so what he's "looking at." For instance, first-degree misdemeanors in Pennsylvania carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in jail, but many defendants so charged receive only... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: My ex has repeatedly threatened me and my girlfriend. I saved the messages, will these help me in court?

she has also stated that she will not give me my daughter even with a court order.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 22, 2020

Potentially, yes - so save them and transfer them some way to your computer *and* print them out in such a way that the participants/dates/times can be recognized. You may find this easier said than done, however, which is why I always advise my family law clients to communicate by email only!... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello, How much will I pay for child support? Please see details below.

We're not married. We both live in cumberland county PA.

My daughter's mom and I split up but we are spending the same amount of time taking care of our daughter (3.5 days with me and 3.5 days with her mom)

We both have the same gross income (She get paid just a dollar... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 18, 2020

Since you're paying for your daughter's health insurance, you've got 50/50 time and the parent's incomes are the same, you probably shouldn't be paying ANY child support to your daughter' mother. In addition, you could probably negotiate alternating who gets to claim... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: Social distancing and covid concerns

We have 50/50 custody of my stepson and also take care of my husbands elderly mother. She is considered high risk. Today we found out that my husbands ex has not been practicing social distancing and has been letting their son play with children closely. Talks in the house have been it might not... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 18, 2020

If there's no court order, there aren't any "official" rules by which to play -- at least right now. He has two recourses: (1) work it out informally, just like he always has, or (2) file a Complaint for Custody and let the court sort everything out.

Your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Due to pandemic can someone restrict their father from weekly visitation if they feel they and family they live with are

Not practicing safety measures like not wearing masks and social distancing with others

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 15, 2020

Philadelphia Legal Assistance created this guide back in late March 2020 concerning custody during the pandemic: https://philalegal.org/custodyCOVID19. It may be of some use to you.

A court order is still a court order, even in a pandemic - and if you choose not to follow it, for...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: Are there laws in PA that restrict dad from bathing five year old daughter? And sleep with her on the same bed?

PA family law

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 15, 2020

I am aware of no such laws in Pennsylvania, and I've been practicing family law in the Commonwealth for 20 years.

Sounds like you two could benefit from some family counseling, at least for the kids' sake. Perhaps suggest it to her as a responsible father and co-parent. Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I keep my daughter from her bio father if he was high while she was in his care?

I was just informed that my daughter's bio dad was high while she was in his care (An entire weekend in another city). She is 4 1/2 and he had no involvement in her life until September 2019. I was informed that he was using heroin for the last month, including when he had her. We have no... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 9, 2020

Yes, you can can (and probably should) file for emergency custody -- or, since there's no order, you could also refuse to allow him physical custody of your daughter any longer and let *him* file for a custody order.

The tricky part, of course, is the reliability of your information...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: My husband has says that Covid-19 is fake news! He has been putting us at risk every single day, says he doesn't care!

My husband is out socializing EVERY-SINGLE-DAY! Partying every/all weekend and refuses to distance/wear mask/etc. He wont allow our 6 yr old son to wear a mask when they are outside together which really bothers my son. Today, for the 2nd time (1st time was even worse), he has risked our son's... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 8, 2020

At this point, you're still married and each of you has as much "right" to parent your child as you each see fit. If you want to change that and have "a leg to stand on" to prevent your husband from parenting in a way that you oppose, then you'll need to file at least... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Joint legal custody, summer visitation coming up. My son has a work permit I did not sign an acknowledgement for...

I was just informed three days prior to my first summer visit that he was scheduled to work during my work hours, and requires me to transport him. I never signed anything stating he would be working or what his schedule would be, his mother did. I am unable to transport him to work due to having... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 5, 2020

There's nothing in Pennsylvania law that provides an answer to this; rather, the courts have the authority to make decisions in specific cases like yours. A court could order her to provide transportation, or not - and someone would have to file something to bring the issue to the... Read more »

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