Child Custody

Child Custody Alienation Tactics Backfire

by Brian Vertz on April 10, 2014

Parents who are facing custody disputes in Pennsylvania may be interested in understanding how child alienation tactics are viewed by judges in Pennsylvania courts. A recent decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court (unpublished) illustrates the perils that may befall a parent who engages in alienation tactics.  In B.E. v. D.N., No. 1894 EDA 2013 (April […]

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16-Factor Custody Analysis Not Always Required, Says Superior Court of PA

February 4, 2014 Child Custody

Presumably, opinions of the Superior Court are published when, in the estimation of the Court, they articulate important principles of jurisprudence. So, the Superior Court was sending a message to family law practitioners when it chose to publish M.O. v. J.T.R., 2014 Pa.Super. 15 (February 4, 2014). M.O. is a custody case in which Mother […]

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School Must Bus Kids to Both Parents’ Homes in Shared Custody Case

January 13, 2014 Child Custody

In Watts v. Mannheim Twp. S.D., No. 935 C.D. 2013 (January 7, 2014), the Commonwealth Court was confronted with the issue of whether a school district must provide bus service to the homes of both parents who share custody of their children on a week on-week off basis. The school district filed the appeal, arguing that the […]

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International Custody Fight – Contempt of Agreement Bolsters Statutory Factors in Father’s Win

July 27, 2013 Child Custody

The appeals in R.M. v. S.B., No. 2879 EDA 2012 (July 25, 2013) arose from an international custody dispute, in which the father resided in France and Mother resided in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. At an earlier stage of the child’s life, the child lived in France with the father for several months in 2010. Subsequently, Mother […]

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Parent’s Role as Primary Caretaker is Relevant but not Paramount under Pennsylvania Custody Law

April 5, 2013 Child Custody

The Pennsylvania custody law, promulgated in 2011, lists 16 factors that a trial court must consider when determining which parent shall have custody of minor children. Already, in the brief time since the law’s passage, the Superior Court has emphasized repeatedly that the courts must consider and articulate all of the relevant factors in its […]

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How Strong is the Presumption in Favor of Parents in Grandparent Custody Cases?

March 27, 2013 Child Custody

A recent grandparent custody case developed a schism among the judges of the Superior Court in an unpublished opinion, two judges voting in favor of the grandparents and one judge dissenting. In M.M. and M.M. v. A.M. and B.M., No. 2308 EDA 2012 (February 20, 2012), a custody dispute pitted the mother of an 8 […]

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Custody Rights of Grandparents and Other Strangers

March 24, 2013 Child Custody

Perhaps grandparents and extended families have always played a major role in the rearing of children, but their involvement has become more prominent in an era of fractionalized and blended families. The Superior Court has enunciated the standards applicable to the custody rights of grandparents in a recent unpublished decision. In K.M. Jr. v. R.R., […]

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Vacillating Parent Loses Custody to Decisive Moveaway Parent

March 21, 2013 Child Custody

Why does a parent agree to a “temporary” or “interim” custody order that allows the other parent to move away with the children, when he or she intends is fighting to win custody from the relocating parent? A wish for marital reconciliation might be one reason, or perhaps an effort to win favor with the […]

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New Husband’s Career Advancement Does Not Justify Custody Relocation

February 20, 2013 Child Custody

The era of blended families presents dilemmas that family lawyers might recognize but remarrying spouses do not contemplate when they say “I do (again).” After divorce, a parent’s opportunities for careeer advancement may be limited, if he or she cannot relocate geographically for work or will not be relieved of a child support obligation temporarily […]

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Father Wins Primary Custody by Presenting a Well-Conceived Plan

January 17, 2013 Child Custody

A new unpublished memorandum opinion of the Superior Court  illustrates what we tell clients all the time in custody cases: Those who have a clear plan for the children are more likely to prevail. In C.H. v. D.M.T.H., No. 1500 MDA 2012 (memo op., January 17, 2013), the Superior Court considered a custody case emerging from […]

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