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Pennsylvania Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: What are the steps I need to take to file a petition for modification?

Do I need to send the Plaintiff a copy of the filled out modification form, Criminal History form, Blank Criminal History forms, and a copy of the order? Do I need to have her signature upon delivery of the documents? When I send in my copy to the Prothonotary I send all of the above plus the $100... Read more »

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

Each Pennsylvania county has their own local requirements (esp. for the filing fee). I suggest you directly contact the Prothonotary's Office for the county in which you wish to file. Sometimes there's a court website that more-or-less walks you through the filing steps as well, if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: So if there is no custody order in place can I go pick my 13 yr old up from her dads without his permission
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall
answered on May 29, 2020

If you are the biological mother and there is no custody order concerning your daughter, then you presently have the same legal rights to your daughter as her biological father. Legally, you don't need his permission to have physical custody of your daughter.

But it sounds like...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Q: Full custody of my son for 8 yrs he wants to live w mom now if she goes for support can I get back support for the 8 yrs

She lives in Georgia now but had no support/barely any contact for 8 yrs I had our son

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on May 28, 2020

Not likely. You should have filed while you had custody of him. The PA support rules do not allow retroactivity of support orders beyond the date of filing for support. If you failed to file for support because you didn't want her trying to come back into your son's life or if you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I put a pfa on my child’s father , who’s now incarcerated could I get in trouble for reaching out to him ?

It was a no contact order and I’m in the process of trying to have it withdrawn

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on May 25, 2020

No, not unless the PFA restricts you from contacting him. Ordinarily, the order only restricts the defendant from contacting the plaintiff, you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: i live in a abusive home. mentally and physically. we’ve went through counseling, therapy. but nothing changes.

i want to be emancipated i don’t feel safe at home i haven’t for months now. and i want something done about it. i need to get out of here legally.

Karen  Ulmer
Karen Ulmer
answered on May 17, 2020

Please contact Children and Youth services if you are a minor and living in an abusive environment. You may have to go to foster care if you do not have another relative who can take you in, but at least you will be safe immediately. They have the power to get you out immediately. Emancipation,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandson is being kept in a state that is not in this jurisdiction and they are out of their jurisdiction can you hel

My question is is there any Pennsylvania attorney that knows what to do when it comes to asking for a writ against the subordinate that is trying to exercise jurisdiction and a sister state such as New York versus Pennsylvania when we should be all on the same page I’m not receiving any phone... Read more »

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

Sounds like you need to talk to an attorney ASAP - you can't possibly explain everything here online.

Find an attorney, and schedule a phone or video appointment. If you don't know one, try here: http://www.fcls.net/home.aspx.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is violating the PA Governor's stay at home order sufficient grounds to file for full custody of children?

My wife and I have been separated for 7 months. She has been in a relationship with another man for over 9 months. We have two children and do not have a signed agreement for anything yet. It is all being put into the divorce agreement. My wife had not brought this other man around our children at... Read more »

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 25, 2020

It's hard to know. Many judges are not looking happily upon people who they think are trying to use the stay-at-home order to their advantage in custody cases. On the other hand, you can argue that she's endangering your children. Your best bet is to speak about your options with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: A friend daughter her father lives in Ny her mother lives in pa they have a court order should she vested him on lockdo

She dose not want to go there because of the virus she is 10

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 25, 2020

Her parents are going to have to work it out, maybe with the help of their lawyers. Court orders are supposed to be followed but there may be reasons why she shouldn't go to NY right now, but it will not be because she doesn't want to go. She's 10 and doesn't get to make that sort of choice.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: is there anything I can do about my granddaughter being abused?

Hi my name is Tammy and I have a granddaughter who is in an abusive home and I’ve contacted child services several times and it’s like they don’t care, the mom had her older son removed because she let him be abuse for 2yrs and did nothing about it, she got with my son and when child service... Read more »

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 20, 2020

It appears that you're anticipating that the mom will abuse your granddaughter, not that it's happening now. I suggest that your son consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss filing a complaint for custody. Also, as an aside, please never post identifying information on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I legally use my birth name 20 years after an adoption?

I feel that my identity was ripped from me from the age of 5 when this happened (20 years ago). I have multiple birth certificates and a SS card with my brithname on it. Would it be legal to use or would I have to go through the name change process?

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 16, 2020

If you were adopted and your name was changed as a result of that adoption, you'll need to go through the name change process to change your name to your birth name.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Identity Theft for Pennsylvania on
Q: My ex-wife continued to collect and sign my ssi benefits for 10 months while I was incarcerated - what charges for her

What kind of charges can I file against her? She is now withholding my Stimulus Money because she also signed my name to her tax return and the bank account it was deposited into is hers. We have been seperated since Dec. 1, 2017.

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 16, 2020

My first question to you is - is she actually your ex-wife? Are you divorced? If so, and she did all this after your divorce, she's got some legal issues. If you're not actually divorced, she may claim that you instructed her to file a joint tax return. On the SSI checks, I'm... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have decided to sign over my parental rights as my son will be adopted by the mothers husband.

They have agreed to this. What is the best first step?

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 15, 2020

They'll need to file paperwork with their county's Orphans' Court. You will sign a very specific agreement to voluntarily terminate your parental rights. They really should retain an attorney experienced in adoptions to shepherd the case through the system.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do i sign away my parental rights without having to pay any child support.

5 year old son.

I've only seen him for about 9 months of his life.

The mother makes my life a living hell and it will be easier for me emotionally just to have no part of his life seeing as the mother and her husband have been raising him since he was born.

Scott L. Levine
Scott L. Levine
answered on Apr 12, 2020

If everyone agreed, mom’s new husband could do a step-parent adoption, which would end your parental rights and support obligation.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm married but separated and got $2400 for stimulus check do I have to give it to partner?

Sorry not separated legally

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush
answered on Apr 12, 2020

I would say yes because $1200 is for each person according to what I understand the purpose behind this disbursement to be.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: In the divorce decree, it states that we both waive child support and alimony. Can I (a year later) change my mind?

We share 50/50 custody, and he makes significantly more money than me. At the time, I just wanted the divorce to be over, and I didn’t educate myself about child support. But after more than a year of supporting myself and my 3 kids, money is kind of tight, and I want to know if I can file for... Read more »

Scott L. Levine
Scott L. Levine
answered on Apr 7, 2020

You can file for child support. Regardless of what agreement says, support for children can’t be waived.

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 |...
Read more »

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... 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.

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