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Pittsburgh Family Law Blog

Woman fights state in child custody battle

There are two sides of the story in a case where the mother claims her child was kidnapped by the state in which she lives. Some Pennsylvania parents may identify with the woman who has been fighting her state's Social Services department for the past five years in the child custody battle. Although the daughter was allowed to moved back home with her mother a few months ago, custody is still held by the state.

The problem began when the daughter was in fifth grade and had gotten trouble at school, after which she threatened to hurt herself. The mother was told to take the girl to a specific agency for a psychological evaluation, but the mother refused, claiming she had had a bad experience with that agency when her son had problems. She told the school officials she would take the girl to their family doctor, and he could give a recommendation of someone she would allow her daughter to see. However, she was not able to get the girl to their doctor before the state took the girl away from her.

Child custody at center of car theft by seven-year-old

When Pennsylvania parents feel it best to divorce, one of the main issues they have to consider is a child custody plan. Many times, divorcing parents can come to an agreement on child custody issues, but sometimes they cannot, and the court has to decide for them. One mother is fighting the court's decision and is trying to regain custody of her son.

The seven-year-old boy was recently injured in a car wreck. His mother said he stole the car from the parents of a friend just so he could be with her. The car flipped when he reached speeds over 100 miles per hour and he was not wearing a seatbelt. The mother claims she found out while visiting him at the hospital that this was the fourth car he had taken in the past week.

Child support demands for Harvey Weinstein

There has been almost nothing more prevalent in the news the past couple of months than the claims of sexual assault and harassment that has allegedly run rampant in the entertainment industry for decades. It may not surprise Pennsylvania residents that Eve Chilton, Harvey Weinstein's first wife, is demanding a lump sum of child support to be paid immediately. She is worried that he will not be able to meet his child support requirements once he has to pay on the lawsuits against him.

During their seven-year marriage, the couple had three children, who are presently 15, 19 and 22 years of age. At the time of their divorce, Weinstein was ordered to pay a sum of $60 million over time. Ms. Chilton claims he still owes a remaining $5 million. Her attorney says he should have no problem paying that amount at this time, as his net worth is purported to be approximately $240 million. Her attorney also requests the outstanding amount be paid at once, as the number of lawsuits against Weinstein increases each week.

Father wants to save boy from mother in child custody battle

A Pennsylvania child custody battle can be expensive but may be well worth it, especially if all evidence points to the child currently living in a dangerous situation. That is the case of a father who is looking to get custody of his son from the child's mother. Co-workers of the father are helping him raise the money he needs to hire an attorney to fight for him and his son in the child custody dispute.

The child's mother has claimed for all of the boy's eight years of life that he has been ill with one condition or another. He has had 13 major surgeries and 323 hospital admissions since he was born, and the father claims most of them were unnecessary. When he fought for custody in the past, he was only able to represent himself and says the judges always believed his ex. He says he even had official medical documentation confirming the boy was not suffering from the illnesses, as the mother claimed, and the judge would not accept it. At one point the judge even took away all visitation rights from him, even though he continued to pay a monthly child support amount of $600.

Father intends to appeal ruling in child custody battle

Parents in Pennsylvania may be interested to hear of an unusual child custody case. A real estate developer and his girlfriend made the decision to have a child together via surrogate. The girlfriend was able to see her son just after he was born nearly two years ago, but has not been able to see him since. A judge recently delivered a ruling in the complicated child custody case that has the father planning to file for an appeal.

The now-former girlfriend says it was the intention of the couple all along for the father to have sole custody of the boy but he would know his mother and have periods of visitation with her. The father claims she legally terminated all rights once she donated her eggs unless the relationship between the two resulted in marriage or became long-term. Numerous texts from the father before the boy was born, talking about "their" child played a part in the judge's ruling to legally declare the former girlfriend as the child's mother.

Divorce and visitation during the holiday season

The ending of a marriage can be the hardest on the children. It also seems the holiday season adds even more stress to the already difficult circumstances children of divorce face. Pennsylvania parents making decisions on visitations schedules will want to consider the effects their plans have on the children.

When drawing up a custody and visitation schedule with their attorneys, parents should take into account traditions to which the children may look forward each year. While one parent chooses to continue to enjoy those special times, the other may want to start new ones to go along with their new life, post-divorce. Should the parents be of differing religious faiths, the right planning will help in finding a way to celebrate those observances.

Non-payment of child support could land father in jail

Every divorced parent in Pennsylvania should know there is an obligation for the noncustodial parent to financially support the children, even if visitation is limited or nonexistent. If court-ordered child support is not paid, wages are often garnished and made available to the custodial parent. One man owes nearly $60,000 in child support and may have to serve jail time if he does not pay.

The man is the father of five children, with ages ranging from infancy to 9 years old. Two of the children have the same mother but the others were born to different women. He has admitted that he is the father to all five children.

Rapper Offset addresses child support request

Parents in Pennsylvania know their main job of raising their children takes a lot of sacrifice. When the two parents are no longer together, those sacrifices don't end. Child support, spending time as a new family unit and general availability to the kids at any time should always be priorities no matter the relationship between the former couple. Offset, a rapper with the group Migos, is being asked for additional child support from his former love interest, Justine Watson.

Years ago the two had a relationship that produced a boy, now 7 years old. Although there was never a DNA test taken by Offset, both parents acknowledge that he is the father. Over the years he has provided sporadic financial support but Watson is now requesting a more detailed, official arrangement. She wants Offset to pay the total amount of support he owes her from the years past, to provide health insurance and to pay her legal fees.

Parents take steps to get child custody over state agency

Pennsylvania parents may have read about those who have lost custody of their children because of drug and alcohol abuse. It can be tough for these parents to regain child custody, even after becoming sober and taking steps to improve their lives. The parents of two little girls are fighting the state for child custody after the Department of Children and Families took them away in 2014.

The state agency got involved after the father was arrested for domestic violence, spending four months in jail for his offense. He now admits his alcohol abuse caused him to become abusive to his wife. Although he never hurt his daughters, the oldest of which is now four years old, he knows he could have. The state did not place the oldest girl in the custody of her mother, as her mother made the choice to return to her husband. Instead, she was placed with a woman who had too many foster children at one time, and her inability to care for them led to the death of one child and irreparable physical and brain damage to the four-year-old girl.

Spousal support revisited by David Hasselhoff and Pamela Bach

When a Pennsylvania marriage ends, there is often a court order for one parent to provide financial support for any children born as a result of the union. What is not always instructed, however, is the payment of spousal support. Should a former spouse not need financial assistance after the divorce, there is no such directive in the divorce agreement. David Hasselhoff and his ex-wife, Pamela Bach, are waging a legal battle against each other over spousal support.

Hasselhoff has been paying Bach $10,000 each month but has legally appealed to discontinue payment of any amount. He says she is more than able to find a way to support herself. The two were married for 17 years before divorcing in 2006.

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