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Questions You May Have About Current Pennsylvania Custody Proceedings

Posted by Joseph Lento | Mar 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

Like many other people, you may have been in the middle of a custody proceeding when the coronavirus began sweeping through the United States. Everyday life certainly looks much different now than it did just three weeks ago. If you were scheduled to appear in a Pennsylvania court for a custody issue regarding your children and your ex-partner, you probably have questions.

What Happens to My Scheduled Court Date?

With a stay-at-home order issued by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, and today's announcement by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that courts will remain closed in Pennsylvania until April 30th, routine cases such as divorces, custody hearings, and child support matters are being temporarily suspended, only to be rescheduled at a later date. You should keep in touch with your Pennsylvania family law attorney to find out when your court date will be rescheduled. Unfortunately, this whole situation is fluid and no one can predict exactly when courts will be safe to reopen.

Judges will oversee cases where the immediate health and safety of an individual are at hand, including protection-from-abuse and emergent custody petitions, but these will be done either over the telephone or video teleconference.

Do I Still Have to Transport My Child to My Ex's House?

If you have a shared custody arrangement that calls for your children to go back and forth between the parental homes, yes. The stay-at-home order excludes transporting children in a shared custody agreement, and keeping your children with you rather than taking them to their other parent's home could be seen as a violation of your agreement.

My Ex-Wife Is a Doctor in a Hospital Treating COVID-19 Patients: I Don't Want My Children Exposed to Her Right Now. Can I Suspend Their Visits?

In this (and similar) situations, the best thing to do would be to have an honest and frank discussion with your ex-partner. If he or she works in the medical field or has an immuno-compromised family member living with them, you might want to talk about an acceptable adjustment to the shared custody agreement during this time. Yes, we are in unprecedented times right now, but if you willfully violate the shared custody agreement without getting your ex's approval, a judge may rescind your rights or custody completely.

If you both decide that the children will stay put at one parent's home during the lockdown, you can still keep in touch with them. The good news is that during this pandemic, technology makes it very simple to communicate via FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype.

I Was Laid Off Because of the Lockdown. Will This Affect My Custody?

One of the most stressful things about the lockdowns is that people are losing their jobs. If your income has changed and you are no longer able to support your children, then a custody modification may need to happen. Or if you are no longer able to provide the previously agreed-upon child support, you can petition the court for a modification. Again, the key is to communicate with your ex about what has happened.

Pennsylvania Custody Attorney

These are stressful times, which can just exacerbate an already-contentious custody dispute. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience and compassion you need to navigate these unchartered legal waters. For more information about Mr. Lento's representation, contact the Lento Law Firm today online or by phone at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience advocating for his Family Law clients in courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, as well as New Jersey. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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