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Pennsylvania Family Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on

Q: Who can help me with my case? I think I need to counsel of my own.

My son was physically abused by my stepfather. He waived his preliminary hearing and I am trying to get a PFA. The lawyer that they gave me to assist does not seem to be much help. My stepfather's lawyer stated that they will work with us on the PFA if I do not crucify he at the criminal hearing.... Read more »

Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 16, 2019

Contact MidPenn Legal Services at (717) 848-3605 - that's your local York Co. legal aid organization.

You can also connect with a local attorney through the York Co. Bar Association. See further details at https://www.yorkbar.com/page/YCBAAC.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on

Q: I had a referee hearing, then went in front of judge.

We had a referee hearing about me receiving child support. Mother didn't show, her address wasn't updated at the court house. So petion was sent to wrong address. She filed an objection and we went to a court hearing. The Judge ruled for us to go back to referee hearing. Why would we do this.

Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 15, 2019

Probably because there never really was a referee's hearing to establish a support number in the first place -- where both parties were present and had input. So the Judge is sending it back so that can happen.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on

Q: What rights do I have as the mother and primary custodial parent if the dad moves 5 hours away. Never been married.

We have never been married and have lived with my parents for 4 years. My son included in the last 3. I am the mother and primary custodial parent. We have a court order in place which allows our son to see his dad every other weekend without allowing overnights. His dad moved 5 hours away with... Read more »

Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 10, 2019

First of all, a sit-down consultation with a good family law attorney would answer all of your questions. Lots of factors go into a child custody decision, especially when one parent relocates. It will be worth your time and money to get yourself informed, and an office consultation is always... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Divorce and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Is there any way I can get control of a 529 plan lost to the other parent in a divorce?

I am 18 about to go to college and my father accidentally ended up with my 529 plan in his name (as opposed to my mother owning it) during their divorce. The amount in the 529 would cover my cost of attendance for 4 years at my university, but he is planning on only using half of it and forcing my... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 8, 2019

If your father and mother are divorced, and if there is a written agreement (or court order) detailing the division of marital assets, it is highly unlikely that your father "accidentally ended up with your 529 plan in his name."

Indeed, it is much more likely that the two parties to the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: I am unsure should I get a emergency custody or or modify it for supervised visits

dad stated he has bad sezuires doctor stripped his licence but he went to the hospital for ans now he wants me to take my son to him back and forth up to octover hes not on any medication . And he said his he cant control his sezuires and they are bad enough that he cant remember anything and... Read more »

Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jul 5, 2019

You need to consult immediately with an experienced family law attorney. We cannot advise you to violate a court order but, depending on your discussion with an attorney in person, you may be justified in holding the child back if there is a serious risk to him being with his dad right now.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Is there any recourse if an objection to the non custodial parent moving with the child is not received in 30 days?

Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 29, 2019

Your question confuses me a bit. Are you asking as the relocating parent or the non-relocating parent? Either way, I've attached a link to the PA custody statute. Relocation is in Section 5337. It should answer your questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: As a single mom of 2 who has the kids 98% of the time, do I have any legal right to tell their father he cant go too far

Traveling, local states only, etc. I receive child support.

No custody order is in place. We try to verbally agree but he lies and often wont tell me where he is taking them. Is it worth it to get custody? I dont want to make things worse for myself by losing time with the kids. Would I be... Read more »

Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 25, 2019

It depends on the content of your custody order which determines the custody boundaries for both of you. If the custody order limits his travel with the children, then you can direct him to that language and request that he abide by the court order -- and if he doesn't, you can file a petition for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: I was recently the victim of domestic violence last month at the hands of my boyfriend and gave a statement to police

Along with pictures of my injuries and text messages back-and-forth. At the same time, I am also in a very nasty custody battle with my ex-husband. I learned today that his attorney somehow got a hold of every single police report, statement, text message, picture, interviews with my family,... Read more »

Penelope A. Boyd answered on Jun 24, 2019

You are in a difficult spot. As long as you are doing what you can to move forward with your life, do not panic. Get support from agencies such as crime victims and get an attorney who understands domestic violence to represent you in custody. Custody courts are concerned that the kids are safe.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can my mother sue me for visitation rights to her granddaughter?

I don't let my daughter with my mother all the time because my mom's health, she cannot watch her by herself. Also her living situation is a safety concern for my daughter. My mother is now threatening to sue me for visitation rights. Can she sue me and my husband for visitation rights?

Dawn Padanyi answered on Jun 23, 2019

The answer to your question is maybe. The area of grandparents rights regarding child custody act is very fact specific, hinging on the type of contact that the grandparent is seeking and the status of her relationship to the child prior to the filing. It would be smart of you to schedule a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: with physical and legal custody of my son. Can I withhold him from mother on her day for visitation?

Hello, I have physical and legal custody of my son. Mother have certain days a week with no over nights allowed. Am I allowed to withhold my son from mother on her day. Regarding arrangements my son my have for that certain day?

Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 21, 2019

Whatever the court orders says, that's what you have to do. If it says she gets some time with your son on a Tuesday, then that's what needs to happen. Failing to abide by the court order sets you up for an imminent contempt proceeding, and you don't want that.

If, however, the court...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on

Q: I have been indicated falsely 20 years ago. I am now in a position trying to have kinship of my 3 grand children

They are telling me I may not be allowed the home evaluation because of it. I have had the req evaluation stating I can safely & adequately care for my grand children

Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 16, 2019

I suppose it's possible but without all the facts it's impossible to know what to tell you. You should consider consulting with an attorney experienced with CYS matters to obtain assistance in getting through this.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Recieved papers in mail. Not sure what its saying. Had conference in may but refused agreement. Please help

Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 15, 2019

You really need to discuss tyour situation with an experienced family law attorney. There is absolutely no way anyone here can help you. You need to show your paperwork to an attorney in person and should you should do so very soon.

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can a person voluntarily give up parental rights to a child without the child being adopted by someone else?

Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 13, 2019

Not really because it wouldn't become a court order until an adoption petition as well as a petition to terminate parental rights had been filed. If the person wanting to give up rights thinks doing so will relieve him/her of support obligations, no such luck. If this actually has to do with not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can parents forbid their child to date someone?

My daughter has been dating her boyfriend for over 2 years. They are 17 and 16 yo. Recently, after an argument with his parents, they told him he's no longer allowed to date my daughter. They've also told me he's no longer allowed to associate with her, or our family. Before this, our family has... Read more »

Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 13, 2019

Sure they can, just as you could forbid your daughter from dating someone. They're both under 18 years of age and children in the eyes of the law.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can I, as a 3rd party, file for custody of my niece while she in in custody of CYS? We are currently fostering. In PA.

Have had her for 10 months now.

Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 12, 2019

I don't see why not. You would have standing to file for custody under current PA law, and obviously already have the blessing of CYS since the child has been placed with you. Realistically, however, you already have de facto custody, but filing now for a more long-term determination is probably... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: In PA, can a 16 year old go on vacation out of state with a 21 year old without parent consent?

My son is 16 years old and wants to go away with his 21 year old boyfriend. I told him he would not be allowed under the law. Is that correct?

Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 12, 2019

He is of age of consent. However, if he wants to drive etc you can suggest that you may not agree. I think this is less a legal question and more one for a mediator or family counselor to advise you on.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Pennsylvania on

Q: Im told by my attorney I can't go into domestic conference, just the attorneys. I want to be a part of it. what do I do

This for a modification in child support in Pennsylvania

Penelope A. Boyd answered on Jun 10, 2019

Trust your attorney. Conferences sometimes do not include the parties. Usually this is to establish the issues, schedule witnesses, or identify additional information that might be needed. You will be in the conference through your attorney so make sure s/he has all the information they need... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: In PA, does spousal support end when divorce is final and there were no claims for alimony

The divorce was 3301 c. She has been awarded spousal support. I wasn’t sure if that ended when the divorce is final and there were no additional claims and we both waive the intent to bring any claims.

Penelope A. Boyd answered on Jun 6, 2019

Unless there has been an agreement to alimony in the property settlement agreement, spousal support generally will stop when the divorce is granted. Alimony, equitable distribution and awards of counsel fees are generally considered ancillary relief that must be part of the divorce. If there is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Can a mother take children to another state to live without father knowing or without his consent. From Pa to NC

Cary B. Hall answered on Jun 2, 2019

If there's a custody order in place, absolutely not. There's a specific procedure for "relocation" cases that must be followed. Contact (and hire) a good family law attorney in PA for assistance on that.

Realistically, however, if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one around, does...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Family Law for Pennsylvania on

Q: Why does opposing counsel have different people from the firm contact me instead of the lead counsel?

I am the plaintiff in a civil suit (domestic violence) and was counter-sued. I eventually had to go pro se because I ran out of money. The firm representing the other side has since taken to having multiple junior lawyers contact me and when asked about the issue, was told that rules of evidence... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 28, 2019

Here are answers to your three questions:

"My questions: a. am I entitled to a single point of contact?" Answer: No.

b. can I insist on written communication to keep things straight? Answer: Yes, but they may not agree to it.

c. how do I deal with a conference call of...
Read more »

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