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Pennsylvania Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I slept through my PFA hearing and I am the plaintiff. What do I do now?
Timothy Kraeer
Timothy Kraeer answered on Nov 25, 2020

So more information would be needed to answer this question effectively. Was your PFA dismissed? If so, was it dismissed with prejudice? If it was dismissed WITHOUT prejudice you can re-file it. It would be beneficial to do so through counsel however - either with a private attorney or through... Read more »

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 Family Law and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: My children's dad owe over seven thousand in child support and the court isnt doing nothing what can i do to get it
Kent Petry
Kent Petry answered on Oct 22, 2020

Speak to an attorney and have them enforce the relevant court order(s).

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What if a power of attorney is needed to make decisions but he can not be reached?

My brother is the power if attorney for my grandfather. There are certain things that need to be taken care of such as making sure the bills are getting paid and also the sale of the house and car, however, he refuses to answer his phone. What can we do to get him to be involved.

John Rafferty
John Rafferty answered on Oct 14, 2020

You can file a petition in the Orphans' Court Division in the Court of Common Pleas of the County in which your grandfather resides, Petitioning the Court to Remove your brother as POA; for failing to perform the job he was appointed to perform. If your grandfather lacks cognitive capacity to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My friend's mom is near death and her sister, brothers and father are not allowing her necessary care and visitation.

Her mom lives in an apartment above her garage and is in the end stages of life. Her sister from NYC and brother from Florida are denying her necessary medical care. Can she obtain a restraining order?

John Rafferty
John Rafferty answered on Oct 14, 2020

She might consider filing a petition for guardianship of her mother, alleging that she needs assistance caring for herself and determining who can see her, and her current care-situation is insufficient. An estates attorney should be able to help you prepare and file such a petition.

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 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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Immigration Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: What would I need in order to get married if my partner is not a U.S citizen in PA?

He does not have a ssn, or a green card.

Kyndra Mulder
Kyndra Mulder answered on Jul 10, 2020

Check with your local clek of court regarding identification required to marry.

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 Child Support and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My spouse filed for divorce almost two years ago and has been non compliant with court orders. Can it go into default?

He has outstanding support obligations and is in arrears for two children. If he filed for divorce and I have answered the complaint, at what point can it go into default?

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 27, 2020

Cases usually don't go into default. Upon occasion they may be terminated due to inactivity.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I adopt my ex girlfriend's daughter if my ex girlfriend is now married to a man?

I am married to another woman and she is married to a man. There is no biological father in the picture.

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 27, 2020

I seriously doubt it. This is one of the strangest questions I've seen. If anyone were to adopt that child it would likely be the mother's husband, not an ex-boyfriend

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: I filed for child support and they're asking me about my income but i don't have any. What do i do?

Since the virus has been going around its been hard to find a job.

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 23, 2020

Tell them exactly that - you don't have any. Be able to provide solid evidnece that you've been looking for work. Also, why aren't you receiving unemployment compensation? Don't try to answer me but that may be something they'll be interested in knowing.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I find out if I overpaid in arrears?

Paid arrears for 17 years for being approx 1 month behind. CP filed in March, court date and agreement reached in April of 2003. Case just closed but I don't believe I should have been paying arrears for that long. Can I get full History of payments?

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 23, 2020

Sure. Contract the county Domestic Relations Office which handled the case and ask what they need you to do in order to obtain an accounting of your payments. You may have to email them. It's hard to tell you what the process will be because it's likely their procedures have been... Read more »

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 Civil Rights and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I leave my house at 17 without permission? Or could I legally move out at 17 without parental consent?

I’m 2 months from turning 18, been had a stable job for 2 years now, and I can’t live here anymore, so am I able to leave without her permission

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Jun 20, 2020

If she won't allow you to move out, I strongly suggest that you tough out the last two months before you turn 18.

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