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Pennsylvania Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: If you do a paternity test on a 17 year old, find out it is yours, can the mother get 17 years of back support in PA
Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Apr 5, 2020

This should be posted in PA section not NY. In NY support can only be ordered from the date of filing of an application for child support forward. I would expect that in PA it would be the same but repost in PA section.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Q: Does my wife have grounds to file a pfa on me?

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Melinda Previtera
Melinda Previtera answered on Apr 3, 2020

There are probably more details about your situation which were not included with your question. You may want to revise your question or reach out to an attorney to get specific information about your case if your wife has filed a PFA.

--Melinda Previtera | Petrelli Previtera, LLC |...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I only get 20 hours a week i cant afford to pay it im late will i go to jailor loose my driving privaleges
Scott L. Levine
Scott L. Levine answered on Apr 2, 2020

If you are referring to your ability to pay child support because of a reduction in hours at your job during this unprecedented time, you are not alone. Many people paying child support have questions about what to do if they lose their job or have their hours cut as a result of the Covid-19 global... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Im late i have to pay 60 a month i only get 20 hours a week will i loose my driving privalges or go to jail
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 30, 2020

Being late doesn't usually put you in jail or give you loss of privileges. You haven't said what you are late for.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I re-open a custody case to obtain full custody on a shared custody that's final?

I share 50/50 with my son's father and both of us have him on a week to week basis. Two weeks after the the final hearing, and the order can in the mail, The father's house catches on fire. The house is in unlivable conditions. He did not inform me about the fire I had to find out from the teacher... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Mar 4, 2020

Yes, you can file a petition to modify custody at any time, and you can ask the court to award you primary physical custody of your son. At worst, an initial hearing will be scheduled and you can hopefully get some answers to your questions.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am in York pa. The biological parent (dad) has not contacted or seen my daughter for 8 years.

He now says he wants to see her. She will be 13 in 3 months. 8 years ago he said he wanted to see her for the first time. We were court ordered for visits. That has long ended 8 years ago. He also wrote a letter, 8 years ago to me his lawyer her school and a mediator stating he was cutting off... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Mar 2, 2020

If there's a custody order -- and it sounds like there is, if you were "court ordered for visits" -- then you must follow the court's order. If you disagree with the order, or wish to change it based on the passage of time and changed circumstances since its entry, you can file a petition to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: In a custody order it is stated that the Father is responsible for Health Insurance. Who pays the rest?

Who pays the deductible and other out of pocket expenses? It does not say anything other than the father pays monthly support and Health Insurance.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Feb 26, 2020

The parent with primary physical custody will pay all out-of-pocket expenses up to $250.00 during the calendar year for each child. Anything greater than this amount should be allocated between the parents by a percentage ordinarily contained in the child support order. That monetary amount could... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hi, my mom whom I lived with when my daughter was born 6 years ago lied and convinced me at the time that she was

given custody of my daughter by the court I was 17 at the time and my Grandmother backed this lie up and has my daughter in Deleware, while my mom is in PA. How do I get my child back now? I found out that no custody order ever existed and its been six years. I live in Pa. as well

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

If your daughter has been with your grandmother in Delaware for the past continuous six (6) months, then you'll need to file a custody action in Delaware -- and consult with a Delaware family law attorney about how to do that. Pennsylvania would no longer have jurisdiction.

Best of luck to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: i have 50/50 of my daughter i took her to the doctors in dec where i found out her dad took me off her medical records

she just had a wellness check in dec and he made her another one for saturday i called the office and asked if she needed to really be seen because she was just seen in dec they said no and canceled it he then told me he is taking her anyway what can i do

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 12, 2020

You need to speak to the attorney who worked out the custody agreement. There would normally be nothing to prevent a parent from taking a child to a doctor, however.

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I wanted to see what my husband and I can do legally to keep a toxic family member from seeing our children.
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Feb 5, 2020

If the toxic family member has no legal custody rights to your children, then that family member has no right to "see" them either -- and you and your husband, as parents, can prevent access between the two.

If the toxic family member is a grandparent, I will tell you that he/she does have...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: My boyfriend and I have 3 kids together but I kicked him out. He is threatening to take my 2 girls with him can he?
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jan 27, 2020

Let's backtrack. If "your" two girls are two of the three children that you and your BF have together, then your BF has just as much legal right to have them as you do. If the two of you can't agree on who will have legal and physical custody of your three children, however, then one of you will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I need to establish custody if other parent is in prison?

I have a 4 year old and no written custody agreement. My ex husband is currently in jail. Do I establish full custody now or wait till he is released

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jan 23, 2020

Realistically, you'll be making 100% of the parental decisions as long as he's incarcerated, and you don't need a court order to do that. However, once he's out, there could be some friction between you two if you can't always agree on child rearing. If you think that's likely, you may want to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: What is the procedure in PA to file for a change of jurisdiction to another state for child custody?

My children are not PA residents and there is documented child abuse (through counselors) in the PA parent's home. All evidence is outside PA.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jan 23, 2020

I see you're asking your question from NY State, and so I'll presume that the state where you and the children reside.

So long as the children have resided in NY State for the past six (6) months, NY State should have jurisdiction of child custody decisions now. Open a custody case in your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Grandparent custody question. Both parents arrested.

My son in law is in jail for molesting my granddaughter and her half sister. My daughter was arrested for choking my granddaughter and intimidating her. My daughter has not permitted me to see my grandchildren. There are three. When my daughter was arrested I picked up the eldest three from... Read more »

Penelope A. Boyd
Penelope A. Boyd answered on Jan 20, 2020

You should consult a local attorney about your custody options. It sounds like these kids will need a lot of support. If your question is whether or not you could get some form of custody, it is a possibility you can explore through the courts and/or the local Children & Youth agency. It is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it legal for grandparents to bully a single mom into signing over partial custody of her child to them under threats

My sister got pregnant and her boyfriend died from OD. His grandparents asked my sister to move in and offered her fancy cars and concerts. She moved in, had the baby, and is now struggling to stay sober. She has maintained FT employment and paid for everything. They let her live in their attached... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jan 13, 2020

Your sister should contact the Reading Office of MidPenn Legal Services (presuming she is located where you are, per your question), and schedule an appointment with someone there to go over the "agreement" and her legal options. The contact information for that office is here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: How to go about getting custody of my nephew in Md. His parents are in jail and he's with children services we live in P
Penelope A. Boyd
Penelope A. Boyd answered on Jan 13, 2020

You should consult with a Maryland attorney. Although you live in Pennsylvania, Jurisdiction over children is governed by the residence of the child. Presumably, an attorney who is familiar with practice where you nephew resides can help you. A lot will depend on the children's services agency... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can a judge put me in jail for back alimony even though I am in a chapter 7 bankruptcy

The Back alimony is from last year when it ended and my 3 minor children live with me that judge said he doesn't care and that would put me in jail if I did not pay two days in bucks county pa

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Jan 7, 2020

Yes. Bankruptcy does not stay actions on enforcement of support or maintenance.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: At what does the child have the right to say what parent they want to live with. My daughter is 15.

She wants to stay with me and not her dad. The verbal agreement we had on child support he has stopped paying so i now have to go to court for that. No custody agreement other than what was wrote up in the divorce papers 10 years ago. Can he fight paying child support and what r the chances i will... Read more »

Dawn Padanyi
Dawn Padanyi answered on Dec 29, 2019

Stability is an important factor for children. No lawyer, without knowing all the information about your case, will be able to answer if you will get primary physical custody in Court. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may look into Legal Aid as it is still best to have an attorney assisting you.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: So my wife is filing for divorce.

When we got our house the only way for her to get an fha loan was for me to sign a release of marital claims. So I am not on the mortgage or deed. I was told that she still could not kick me out or sell the home because it's an established family home regardless of all that. And i have been 800... Read more »

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Dec 26, 2019

Yes, you need to consult with an attorney. If you're not on the deed, she could attempt to sell the house but she files for divorce you have the ability to ask the court to restrict her from doing so. There are many other aspects to your situation that are best answered in a face to face... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Am I responsible (if NOT a POA or guardian) to stay in a home 24/7 for a mother and father with undiagnosed dementia?

The office of aging claims that she can be legally responsible for them (mother and father). She DOES want to be helpful and a good daughter but does she need to be there 24/7? She has had to leave her job and is a ‘prisoner’ to their home. This is all until they are placed in a nursing home.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 15, 2019

Pennsylvania is unusual (compared to other states) in that it does impose on relatives the obligation to care for and maintain or financially assist indigent persons.

Here is the Pennsylvania statute:

§ 4603 Relatives' liability; procedure

(a) Liability.--

(1)...
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