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Pittsburgh Family Law Blog

NFL player, Antonio Brown embroiled in child custody battle

Football season has ended and numerous players in the NFL can set their focus on family and friends. Some will be going through a divorce and others may be fighting child custody and support battles. Steelers fans in Pennsylvania might be interested to hear one of their stand-out players, Antonio Brown, wants a child custody ruling in his favor so he can have precious time with his daughter.

Wiltrice Jackson is the little girl's mother and accused Brown only last month of domestic misconduct. She claims he pushed her to the ground after she asked for money to pay for their daughter's hair appointment. She waited until the next day to report the incident to police and they told her they were not able to press charges against Brown because it was not the day of the alleged assault. They did, however, give her information on the steps she would need to take in filing a restraining order against him.

Couple faces divorce amid abuse accusations

Appearances can be deceiving. While a Pennsylvania couple may seem to most of the world to have a strong, happy marriage, divorce may be lurking in the near future. A development project that would have been beneficial to a Midwestern town has been scrapped because of the bitter divorce proceedings of two of its partners.

Although the couple presented a united front during the public presentation of the $70 million project, within three months the wife had filed for divorce as well as a restraining order from her husband. The husband had moved out of their house but the wife claims there was an episode where he returned to verbally harass her, witnessed by a friend visiting her home at the time. She submitted pictures of herself with physical injuries she says were caused by her husband. According to her statement, his abuse worsened after his father fired him from the family business.

Tips for financial protection amid divorce

Its no secret that the end of a marriage is emotionally and psychologically challenging. However, it can also be a very costly experience. Managing finances during a divorce can be complex.  The following tips can help Pennsylvania residents financially protect themselves amid the turmoil of divorce.

Although it can be an extremely tough thing to do, keeping both parties in mind when making financial decisions can be beneficial in the long run. Its always recommended to work with a financial professional when managing joint debt or finances. Closing all joint credit card accounts and removing spouses from checking accounts should be a top priority. Continuing to rack up joint debt will only complicate and prolong the divorce process.

Judge rules child support not an obligation during deployment

Making sure a child has everything he or she needs is utmost in most parents' minds. Many Pennsylvania custodial parents count on child support from an ex each month in order to assist in meeting the needs of the child. It is hard to choose sides in the dilemma each parent in a recent child support situation is facing.

The father is being deployed for seven months to an overseas location. Although it is not yet known exactly what his pay will be during that time, his income will decrease significantly. He will receive military pay but nothing from his job as a firefighter, on which his current support payments are based. In fact, his income recently changed and he and his ex were to come to a new support and visitation agreement because of the modification. A judge has made her ruling to suspend child support during the deployment, citing the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that gives some security in certain situations to active duty service members while they are overseas, and a court date on the modification has been set upon his return.

Spousal support win for television actor

Other than the emotional strain, Pennsylvania couples going through a divorce may have concerns about their financial future. There is often the fear that child and spousal support may not be enough to make ends meet, especially in circumstances involving costly private schools and multiple extra-curricular activities. A former cast member of The Cosby Show and his wife are getting a divorce, and a ruling has been made on child and spousal support amounts.

Joseph C. Phillips played the husband to one of the daughters on the hit show and has continued to act in recurring and guest roles on various television shows. His ex-wife, Nicole, filed for divorce after 23 years of marriage with the reason not given in a report on the matter. Although she petitioned the court for Phillips to not receive spousal support, the judge ordered her to pay Phillips child support in addition to spousal support.

Nonpayment of child support lands father in jail

It takes a lot of money to raise a child these days. Some Pennsylvania parents have no trouble providing for every expense that comes along, but others, especially divorced and single parents receiving no child support, may sometimes have to choose between a nourishing meal and medication for a childhood illness. One man has been arrested for not making a child support payment the past four years.

In 2000, the man and his wife divorced. At the time, they had a 3-year-old child, and a court order nearly a year later required the father to pay $780 each month in financial support. Over the next few years, the mother received approximately $24,000 in support payments, but the father suddenly stopped paying.

Grandparents' rights a priority of the opioid crisis

The opioid crisis continues to rage in Pennsylvania. While the addicts are the most physically affected by the horrific disease of addiction, they are not its only victims. Children of addicts are also adversely affected by the loss of their parents, either to overdose or the parents' inability to care for them while dealing with their addiction. Grandparents are acting as caregivers in greater numbers every year. Grandparents' rights have subsequently become a major issue.

Pennsylvania is making moves to improve the situation for grandfamilies, as they have come to be called. Grandparents do not typically expect to find themselves in the position of primary caregiver to their grandchildren. The opioid crisis has changed that, however. In an effort to assist with the situation, the state has passed two laws intended to help grandparents who find themselves caring for young children.

Child custody dispute in surrogacy case

Every day, any court in the country will hear two sides of a custody case, and a determination of where the child will be placed is made. The details of some Pennsylvania child custody cases can make the decision fairly easy, but others, not so much. A recent child custody case pits two biological parents against each other.

A man and his wife made plans to have a child via surrogacy and found a woman not only willing to carry the child but to donate her eggs to be used for conception, as well. The two parties signed a contract, agreeing that the donor would have nothing to do with the child once delivered. However, before the couple could legally adopt the child, they divorced. As a result, the man used the surrogate as a babysitter for nearly three years before he relieved her of the duty. The relationship between the child and the surrogate was such that the girl thought of the woman as her mother.

Man given last chance to pay child support before jail time

Some custodial parents in Pennsylvania know what it is like to not have enough money to meet budgetary requirements. In most cases, this is due to unpaid child support by an ex. A man has recently been given an ultimatum on paying the child support he owes.

A 2011 court appearance resulted in the man being ordered to pay $215 in child support each month for the next 15 years. Six years later, it was discovered he had not been paying any money at all. A judge ordered 24 months of probation and raised the monthly payments by $50. There were other stipulations given at the time, including acquiring his GED.

Former taxi mogul insists he cannot pay child support

After a divorce, the more affluent Pennsylvania parent is expected to provide financially for a child and, often, a former spouse. When that parent refuses, for whatever reason, to make child support payments, he or she may find himself or herself in front of a judge for an explanation. That is what recently happened to Gene Freidman, also known as the Taxi King, for not paying his ex-wife, Sandra, over $400,000 in child support.

The 47-year-old former owner of a large fleet of taxis claims he no longer has the funds to pay child support, as he has not even been able to pay for a recent electric bill, resulting in his service being disconnected. Furthermore, he has had to apply for Medicaid for his daughter because he can no longer afford her insurance payments. His once-sizeable taxi empire has lost earnings as the popularity of Uber and other ride-sharing ventures grows.

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