Child Custody

News & Analysis as of

A Stepparent Was Ordered to Pay Child Support in Pennsylvania Custody Order?

Did you know that a stepparent can be ordered to pay child support of his or her stepchildren in Pennsylvania? In a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court case, just that happened – a stepparent was found to have a duty to support...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Denies Father's Petition To Change His Son's Last Name To Match His Own

In a November 2015 binding opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court entered an order denying father's request to change his three year old son's last name to match his own. The Superior Court also denied father's alternative...more

Mediation and Parent Coordination Work

I am a true believer in mediation. It is honest, creative and raw. In mediation the parties are involved in their end result and can do things that a judge may not do. This week I served as a mediator and at the beginning of...more

To Bifurcate, or Not to Bifurcate: That is the Divorce Question

Some divorcing couples may want their divorce resolved as quickly as possible. In California, the legal minimum time requirement that a dissolution can be entered is six months from the date of service of the Petition to the...more

Court Permits Mother To Relocate With The Child More Than Five Hours Away

In September 2015, in a Non-precedential Decision, K.A.N. v. J.A.N., the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a trial court's decision to permit mother's relocation with the child from Pennsylvania to Virginia. The relocation...more

What Can Be Learned From Madonna’s Custody Battle

Pop icon Madonna is facing a difficult battle concerning custody of her 15 year-old son, Rocco.  While the divorce agreement she entered into with Guy Ritchie about eight years ago, awarded her custody of Rocco, it appears...more

The Queen of Pop’s Custody Battle

This Christmas, gifts were the last thing on the mind of America’s material girl, Madonna. Instead, she and her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie, are entrenched in a custody battle, fighting over where their 15-year-old son Rocco will...more

When Same-Sex Marriage Ends, Ex-Spouse May Have Custody Rights

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v Hodges, in which it ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people...more

Contracts Are Considered When Using Assisted Reproduction Technology

Two recent decisions highlight the importance of contracts between parties in cases involving assisted reproduction technology (ART).  In Pennsylvania, the Superior Court found that television personality, Sherri Shepherd was...more

How Coparents Should Handle the Holidays

Hi there, It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with it all of the holidays of the season! This time of year is particularly tough for folks who are just getting used to a coparenting...more

Modifiability of Written Child Support Agreement

When parties are divorced, they often detail the economic terms in a written agreement called a marital settlement agreement or a postnuptial agreement. These marital settlement agreement may contain a provision regarding...more

Filing and Litigating a Hague Convention Child Abduction Civil Case in Federal Court

Background on Child Abduction Cases Under the Hague Convention - The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Convention”) is an international treaty in which the signatory...more

Some 2015 Florida Law Changes

Below are some statutory changes enacted in Florida in 2015 that you may not have noticed: GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS. In a major rewrite of Chapter 752, statutory rights of a grandparent to obtain visitation rights...more

Sharing Custody When Parents Don’t Share Religion

A court-ordered parenting plan governs how parents will share the “care, custody and management of their child,” a fundamental liberty interest recognized by the United States Supreme Court. This liberty interest encompasses...more

Father Plus Step-Father Equals Happy Bride!

Pennsylvania child custody laws have always favored a parent above a nonparent when awarding physical custody rights. In fact, there is a strong presumption in all custody cases that a parent should be awarded physical...more

Shared Parenting – It’s Never Too Late to Get It Right

Shared parenting can be a very difficult road to navigate. Being a stepparent is oftentimes touted as a thankless role, where love must adhere to boundaries set by others. Blended families are often fraught with many...more

Child Custody Order Inconsistent With Factors Analysis Reversed

The recent case of W.C.F. v. M.G., 115 A.3d 323 (Pa. Super. 2015), addresses numerous issues often faced by family law practitioners. The relevant factors of the case are as follows: W.C.F. (the father) and M.G. (the mother)...more

3 Keys to Child Safety

Although summer has come to a close, lots of families continue to hit the roads (and even the seas and air) on vacation over long weekends, holidays and school vacations. Most divorced families agree upon a parenting plan...more

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Regardless of what type of legal or physical custody a parent exercises, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), all parents are provided with certain rights surrounding their ability to access their...more

Every Child Deserves Representation in a Contested Adoption

In my previous post on Adopting a Stepchild, I explained the steps to go through for an uncontested adoption. Many adoptions are very simple and straightforward. However, in situations where there are disagreements about what...more

International Custody in Relation to the Kelly Rutherford Custody Trial

International custody has come to the forefront recently with the custody battle raging between United States actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband, German businessman, Daniel Girsch, over the physical custody of their...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

SCHOOLING AND DIVORCE

As summer comes to an end, it is important to remember divorced or non-intact families must approach their child’s schooling a little differently than intact families. For example, many intact families designate one parent to...more

Divorce and Custody Turns Absurd

In any divorce where custody of the children is contested, absent an agreement between the father and mother, the decision is left to the ineffective, expensive and arbitrary court system. Judicial officers (judges and...more

How to File for Divorce?

Steps to make the divorce process as painless as possible: 1. Speak with an Attorney First. Going through a divorce is not simply a legal matter. More often than not, there are complicated legal issues involved which are...more

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