Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

Child Custody Archives

The Basics: Child Custody in Pennsylvania

People often become confused and overwhelmed when they are considering filing for custody. How do I file for custody? Can I do that? Can the other parent take my child? Does the other parent have to know about this? You're not alone in feeling overwhelmed. This blog post will explain some of the basics of child custody here in Pennsylvania based on commonly asked questions.

Facing The Holidays Anew After Your Divorce

Many families in Pennsylvania are about to experience the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season for the first time since their divorce or separation. Yes the holiday season may not be the same but it can still be filled with love and laughter and is the opportunity to build new memories and holiday traditions.

A child's preference and Pennsylvania's custody law

When the court attempts to fashion a custody order parents often try to argue for more custodial time by insisting that the child/children prefers to live with them as opposed to the other parent. This begs the question; is a court in Pennsylvania likely to consider a child's preference for one parent over the other?

Exploring in loco parentis Law in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania custody statute does not define "in loco parentis," but Pennsylvania courts have found a person to stand in loco parentis to a child when they have taken on parental responsibilities and duties, with the consent of the biological parent. For example, in T.B. v. L.R.M., 753 A.2d 873 (Pa. 2001), the court implied that in loco parentis standing is granted for the benefit of the child, stating that if a "child has established strong psychological bonds with a person" that the child views that person with "a stature like that of a parent," the third party is provided "the opportunity to litigate fully the issue of whether that relationship should be maintained, even over a natural parent's objections."

HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT YOUR PENNSYLVANIA CHILD CUSTODY ORDER AND THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS?

If you have a child custody order here in Pennsylvania, it's time to start thinking about the upcoming Christmas and New Years holidays. The holidays should be a time of fun, family, and delicious foods. Unfortunately, it can also be a stressful time and this stress can be compounded by the upcoming holiday season particularly if you are parent who is sharing custody of your children.

Grandparent Custody in Pennsylvania

Courts in Pennsylvania are most concerned with the best interests of the child anytime they are considering custody. This 'best interests' standard also applies in those cases where a grandparent is attempting to gain some kind of custody of their grandchildren.

Will a Prior Drug Addiction Prevent Me From Having Custody in Pennsylvania?

We have all heard the headlines, the heroin epidemic in Western Pennsylvania is getting more and more severe. Most people are in agreement that a parent who is in the active stages of addiction should not be allowed to exercise unsupervised custody. However, many people are lucky enough to recover from their addiction through the help of rehabilitation and therapy. These circumstances lead to many significant questions. If someone's custody was suspended during their addiction or rehabilitation, when or how should it be reinstated? How do you plan in advance for a possible relapse? How supportive should you be of someone's recovery while still being aware that relapse is possible? How do you discuss these issues with the children?

Has the Recent Change in Grandparent Custody Law Complicated the Custody Process in Pennsylvania?

Last week, we posted about the new change to the custody laws with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in D.P. v. G.J.P.. This opinion overturned the portion of the grandparent custody statute that allowed grandparents to have standing to seek partial custody of their grandchildren in cases when parents were separated for at least six months.

Changes in Pennsylvania's Grandparent Custody Rights

As Pittsburgh Custody Lawyers, it is part of our job to remain up-to-date to evolving laws that impact our client's custody rights. In Pennsylvania, many grandparents are afforded the right by law to file for partial or supervised physical custody of their grandchildren. Recently, the statute providing these rights, 23 Pa. C.S.A. Section 5325, was considered and evaluated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Can a Judge Decide What Activities My Child Can Participate in During a Custody Case in Pennsylvania?

Anyone who knows anything about custody cases in Allegheny County and the rest of Pennsylvania knows that the standard is the best interest of the child. Especially when it comes to school choice cases, courts will often look favorably on schools with extensive lists of extracurricular opportunities and activities for the children to be involved in. This issue becomes even more important when children are very passionate or gifted in a specific sport, activity or art. Usually, the parent who is best able to support the child's involvement in an activity about which they are passionate may have the upper hand in a custody case.