Pennsylvania Family Law

Information Blog

Your Resource for Pennsylvania Family Law News and Information


Knowledge is power, and this blog is dedicated to providing the most updated information on Pennsylvania Family Law, related topics, and family matters in general.  It's our goal for you to use the information on this site, including the individual practice area pages, to help you understand your rights, obligations, and the best course of action for your Pennsylvania Family Law case.

How Child Custody Disputes Complicate the School Year

Posted by Joseph Lento | Sep 05, 2019 | 0 Comments

As summer comes to an end, parents everywhere can take a collective sigh of relief as their kids return back to school. All the late nights, vacation getaways, summer programs, and anything else you did to keep them occupied will now be replaced with a monotonous school routine - and most parents...

Can Your Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Aug 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

When the courts attempts to craft a custody order, it's a common argument amongst parents that their children prefer to live with them as opposed to the other parent. They often buy into the misconception that once a child reaches a certain age and level of maturity, their child will wield the po...

Pennsylvania Child Custody Laws at a Glance

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jul 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

When you have children in a marriage or relationship, the last thing on your mind is what could happen if things between you and your partner go awry. But when you split, you're forced to think about what went wrong, how you two can put aside your differences to successfully co-parent, and what's...

Relocating With a Child Custody Agreement in Place in PA

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jul 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

Life has a way of being unpredictable. Perhaps your job recommends you relocate across Pennsylvania for a better opportunity, or you find a deal you can't pass up on housing that's more than a few miles away from your current home. While all these new things life brings your way are exciting, the...

Can Punishing a Child Allow for a Protection from Abuse Order in Pennsylvania?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jan 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

Parents may find themselves accused of inappropriately or excessively disciplining their child, and as a result they may be named as a defendant in a Protection from Abuse (PFA) case. There is no excuse for "going too far" with a child, but what kind of alleged discipline or punishment will be problematic for a parent facing a PFA action? The Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Act and Pennsylvania Superior Court decisions address this issue.

Can a Child Testify at a PFA Hearing in Pennsylvania?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jan 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

With so much riding on a PFA court's decision, plaintiffs and defendants often have a related, but competing concern in domestic violence cases involving children. Plaintiffs often ask, "Can my child testify to abuse allegations at a PFA hearing?" Defendant's often ask, "Is my child allowed to testify against me at a PFA hearing?" The short answer is, "It depends." Ultimately, Pennsylvania court decisions have addressed this issue, and must be considered whether seeking protection on behalf of a child or defending against allegations of abuse against a child.

What is "Reasonable Fear" in a Pennsylvania PFA Case?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jan 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

Protection from Abuse (PFA) cases that have been appealed have been addressed by Pennsylvania appellate courts; the Pennsylvania Superior Court in particular. Through its review of trial court PFA decisions, the Pennsylvania Superior has defined what is considered "reasonable fear" in PFA cases. In many PFA cases, "reasonable fear" and related considerations will determine when a plaintiff's request for a PFA order should be granted, and when it should be denied.

What to Expect in a Montgomery County Protection from Abuse Case

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jan 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

Whether seeking a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order in Montgomery County, or defending against allegations of domestic violence, spousal abuse, or child abuse, the stakes can be high. For both plaintiffs and defendants in PFA cases taking place in Norristown, it is important to take the proper steps to achieve success in the courtroom, and it is also important to understand what potentially lies ahead when facing a Protection from Abuse case.

The Support Master's Hearing in Montgomery County Domestic Relations

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jan 06, 2017 | 0 Comments

When support cases in Montgomery County, whether involving child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite, also known as APL, are not resolved at the support conference, the case will be scheduled for a support master's hearing before one of the Montgomery County support masters. Knowing what will take place at a support master hearing in Norristown is critical to success.

The Support Conference in Montgomery County Domestic Relations

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jan 05, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Montgomery County Child and Spousal Support is a three-tier system.  The first level is a Domestic Relations Support Conference before a Domestic Relations Support Conference Officer in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Understanding what will take place at the Support Conference, also known as the Conciliation Conference, will help parties prepare as best as possible when facing issues of child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite.

What Happens at a Bucks County Support Conference?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Jan 02, 2017 | 0 Comments

In Bucks County, whether the party seeking child support, spousal support, alimony pendente lite, or the party who the complaint is against, you must protect your interests. A major part of protecting your interests is understanding what takes place at a support conference in Bucks County Family Court.

Filing for Support in Delaware County

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

Filing for Child Support, Spousal Support, or Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) in Delaware County requires that specific steps be followed in order to have your day in Court. Understanding the support filing requirements in Delaware County in addition to understanding how the support case will proceed is critical to achieving success whether at a Support Conference or a Support Master's Hearing.

Child Support and Spousal Support in Montgomery County - Practice and Procedure

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

Whether a party in financial need of child support to provide for his or her children, a spouse in financial need of spousal support to maintain his or her standard of living while a divorce is pending, or spouse in financial need of alimony pendente lite after the divorce has been filed, all must understand the process that Montgomery County Family Court uses to decide not only whether support should be granted, but whether a support filing will be accepted.

What is the Bucks County Court Conciliation and Evaluation (CCES) Program?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

Most parents involved in a child custody dispute believe they know what is in their child’s or children's “best interests.” What may not be realized, however, is that the “best interests of the child” is a legal standard that only a Family Court judge will decide. The Court Conciliation and Evaluation Service, also known as the CCES program, is a program utilized by Bucks County Family Court to help parties in a child custody dispute resolve their case without the need for contentious litigation. A CCES counselor will meet with the parties and the child or children, assess the child custody issues in dispute, and ultimately, will provide the Court with either an "Agreed-Upon Parenting Plan" or a "Recommended Parenting Plan," in addition to a full clinical report.

Child Interviews and Custody Evaluations in Montgomery County

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

Parents in a Montgomery County child custody case are required to go through certain steps before the case can go to trial. Montgomery County Family Court, however, will often make efforts to have the custody case resolve itself in an agreeable manner, rather than having a judge decide the case. "Child Interviews" are one such effort that can help in achieving a constructive resolution to a custody dispute. "Custody Evaluations" can also provide additional information to help both parents and the Court understand what is in fact in the child's "best interest," whether the custody case is resolved prior to, or at trial.

Can a Custody Master's Hearing in Montgomery County be Continued?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

Parents in a custody dispute often want their case to be heard as soon as possible. There are some occasions, however, that more time is needed before the matter is addressed by the Court. Custody Master's hearings in Montgomery County, also known as Custody Conciliation Conferences, can only be continued in certain instances however. Understanding what reasons will be considered appropriate by Montgomery County Family Court is the first step in navigating the steps required to have a custody master's hearing continued if necessary.

Will a PFA Show Up on My "Record" or on a Background Check?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 08, 2016 | 0 Comments

Defendants in Protection from Abuse cases in Pennsylvania are often very concerned about the potential consequences of the record of the PFA appearing on their "record" or in background checks. In very limited instances, aspects of a PFA proceeding can be expunged, or cleared, from a person's "record." Because very specific conditions have to be met for a PFA record to be eligible for expungement in Pennsylvania, ultimately, defendants in PFA cases must understand the potential consequences of how the case is addressed and resolved.

Grandparents' Rights to File For Custody When Parents Are Separated in Question

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 07, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently invalidated the right of Pennsylvania grandparent's to file for custody of a grandchild when the grandchild's parents have been separated for more than six months. The Court, in its decision, balanced the rights of separated parents versus state interests. The Court held that the rights of separated parents supersede those of the state, and consequently, those of grandparents who want to be or remain a part of their grandchildren's lives when the child's parents are separated.

Bucks County Family Court - Where do I go?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Dec 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

Bucks Count Family Court has various divisions that handle the various Family Law issues that come before the Court. As basic as it may be, when a person has to appear in Doylestown to have their Family Law matter heard by the Court, knowing when and where to go can be half the battle.

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