FIND YOUR ANSWERS REGARDING FAMILY LAW IN PA:

Q
What does “paternity” mean?
APaternity is the establishment of a child’s legal father.
Q
What factors does a judge consider in awarding child custody?
AIn PA, a family law judge will consider 16 different factors in a child custody determination. These are enumerated here (§ 5328).
Q
How can grandparents get custody rights in PA?
AGrandparents and great-grandparents have legal standing in PA to seek out legal and physical custody of their grandchildren. Learn more here .
Q
I have sole custody of my child. Can her other parent now be given custody rights?
ABoth parents of a child have inherent rights and standing to pursue custody. In some cases, such as where a history of violence or abuse is shown, a parent can lose those rights.
Q
My child support payments are current, but my ex is keeping the kids from me when I show up. What can I do?
AIn Pennsylvania, child support is a separate right of the child and not connected to visitation or custody rights in any way. You should continue making payments, and consult with an attorney experienced with child custody issues to see about a modification order, a Petition for Contempt, or both.
Q
My custody order and children are in PA. Custodial parent wants to relocate my children to New York. Will the courts allow her to do that?
AIt depends on a number of factors; the most weighted being whether the move is in the children’s best interests. Read more information here .
Q
We are filing for divorce and our child wants to live with me full-time. Will the court take his preference into custody determination?
AIt is the responsibility of the parents to agree upon custody. PA courts largely prefer a mutually agreed upon custody arrangement. If your spouse disagrees w/ child’s wishes, then you may ask the court to determine custody. A judge will consider his age, maturity and reasons in weighing his desire.
Q
How is spousal support calculated?
ASpousal support is normally calculated following the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines. You can find them here.
Q
I owe some back child support, but my child is now 18. Do I still have to pay?
AYes. There is no time limit on arrears, and you are obligated to pay all child support owed.
Q
How will my child support be calculated?
ACourts have some discretion in methods used to determine support. Generally, the PA Support Guidelines will be the framework for calculation.
Q
I am custodial parent in NJ, NCP lives in PA where divorce was decreed. NJ child support laws are effective through college, so can I file for a support order in NJ?
AIf you have a support order as part of your PA divorce decree, then PA has jurisdiction and its laws control child support age limits. However, it may be possible to domesticate your child support case to NJ. Consult with a child support lawyer to determine if this is feasible.
Q
I live in NY and my children live in PA. Which state do I file for visitation in?
APennsylvania, assuming your children have lived here for at least 6 months, and there are no prior custody orders from another state.
Q
We have 2 children & lived together for 10 years. Now apart, ex says we have a “common law” marriage in PA, is this true?
APA stopped recognizing common law marriages as at Jan. 1st, 2005. If you held yourselves out as married before then, you would have a valid marriage and many implications could apply. Talk to a local family law attorney about your situation.
Q
How soon after we sign our divorce papers will the divorce be final?
AIn a PA uncontested, no-fault divorce, time begins tolling on the 90-day waiting period as at the date the Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage is filed. However, if other matters /complaints are brought up, these will normally need to be resolved before the decree is issued.
Q
What is “in loco parentis” and how can it affect my child’s custody?
A“In loco parentis” is Latin for “in place of the parent.” It could have numerous implications as to child custody where a non-parent is acting as a child’s parent over an extended period of time. Consult with a qualified PA child custody lawyer about your case.
Q
What’s a “second parent adoption,” and does it apply to step-parents?
AA second parent adoption occurs when the parental rights to a child are terminated by only one natural parent. The process can apply to a step parent, same-sex parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent.
Q
I have a pension plan and 401k as marital property. Spouse’s lawyer keeps requesting I get a QDRO form frm plan administrator. What should I do?
AA Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a court order creating formal recognition of another person’s right to retirement monies held in a pension plan, deferred compensation plan, and/or 401k. You cannot properly divide interests in these assets without the QDRO, as they are also federally regulated. Seek your own advocate and talk to a divorce settlement attorney as soon as possible.

We hope you find thlogoe information provided to be useful. If you are in Johnstown, Pittsburgh, Westmont, Richland, Portage, Colver, Revloc or any of the surrounding communities and have specific questions about a family law matter, please call us today. 412-690-0225 or 814-419-6440

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