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Pittsburgh Family Law Blog

Husband of Geena Davis wants divorce

There are many things that bring heartache to a person these days, but one of the worst can be a divorce. Pennsylvania couples who have decided to end their marriage often have a hard time telling their family and friends about their decision. Celebrity couples, however, often have a hard time keeping their divorce news to only friends and family. Yet another long-time celebrity marriage is ending.

Geena Davis and her husband, neurologist Reza Jarrahy, have decided to end their relationship. The two had been married just over 16 years before they separated six months ago. Jarrahy has recently filed for the dissolution of their marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.

No child support from father for nearly 20 years

A regular support payment is vital to the well-being of the children for most Pennsylvania custodial parents. Some of those who have had trouble collecting the court-ordered amount have seen firsthand the financial problems that can ensue when the money does not come in. One father went to great lengths to get out of paying child support for his four children.

When the man and his wife divorced nearly 30 years ago, he claimed he was disabled and did not have a job. His court-ordered support payments of $100 each month was lowered to only $14. Seven years later, he sold an internet business for over $2 million, and his support payments were raised again to reflect his new-found wealth. He left the country and changed his name to avoid paying the money.

Man tries to get out of paying child support

Many custodial parents in Pennsylvania are acutely aware of how important regular child support payments are to the welfare of their children. A missed payment could mean at least one missed meal, no warm coat for the cold winter days or medicine that is essential for maintaining optimum health. One man took drastic measures to get out of paying the child support ordered by the court.

A recent report stated the 38-year-old man was so determined to get out of paying child support that he forged a judge's signature on a document that would terminate the man's parental rights. The report did not mention how many children he was supporting, nor how much he was required to pay. The claim went further, saying he faxed the document to the state's department of human services.

Scott Weiland's ex has child support request

Many custodial parents in Pennsylvania know how crucial it is to receive support payments for their children from their former spouse. Some even know how devastating a turn their particular circumstances can take when they do not receive the funds. The ex-wife of the late Stone Temple Pilots band member, Scott Weiland, says she now needs his estate to make her child support payments.

Mary Weiland and her ex-husband had two children during their seven-year marriage. At the time of their divorce in 2007, the judge ruled she would receive $4,000 each month in child support. She wants to continue receiving that amount, claiming the children, now teenagers, have no other means of financial support.

Actor Jeremy Renner reassesses child support for daughter

In Pennsylvania, many child support situations are such that a fairly basic formula can be used to determine the amount a noncustodial parent will have to pay. Should the income of that parent increase, the support agreement can be reevaluated, and a new payment may be ordered to reflect the increase. Jeremy Renner, one of the stars of The Avengers superhero movies, will be paying more in child support due to his growing earnings from the series.

Renner and his ex-wife of less than a year have a 5-year-old daughter who will benefit from the popularity of the movies. Under the former child support agreement between the two, Renner was to pay $13,000 each month. A clause stipulated he would also have to pay 5 percent of anything he made over his yearly $2.3 million salary.

Father awarded son in child custody battle

In a Pennsylvania family court, one parent may be named the custodial parent for any number of reasons. The goal is for the judge's decision to be the best possible situation for the child, especially in a child custody battle fraught with contention. One young father has won the child custody battle for his son, as the boy's mother faces a child-endangerment charge.

At two months of age, the little boy had to be rushed to a hospital with severe head trauma. Although the mother called the boy's father, she was in a panic and left out several details, including where she was located and how to contact her for further information. The mother had moved several states away when she found out she was pregnant, leaving no forwarding information for her ex, nor did she name him as the boy's father on the birth certificate.

Judge sets spousal and child support amounts in abuse case

Each state has its own regulations when setting child support payments. Pennsylvania has a formula by which support is determined, although special circumstances may be a consideration that would cause the court to deviate from the set formula. One judge has determined spousal and child support for a woman who was a victim of domestic violence by her husband.

Several weeks after the woman filed for divorce, she also filed a restraining order against her husband. Her husband is a public information officer with the state in which they reside. As such, he owns several firearms, and she has been afraid he would use them on her or himself. She says his abusive nature is getting worse as time passes.

Noncustodial parent pays sizeable amount in child support

Parents in Pennsylvania who are primary custodians often struggle financially without a monthly child support payment from their ex. The amount of child support is determined differently in each state, using a variety of factors. One businessman is expected to pay more support each month than many people make in a year.

The very wealthy business tycoon has a net worth of approximately $1 billion and a monthly income of nearly $2.5 million. He and his ex-wife were only married two years when they realized it was not working out and she filed for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. They had two children during their marriage, and she was awarded primary custody.

Indian Child Welfare Act a factor in child custody case

Some Pennsylvania child custody decisions are not made without encountering some type of hiccup along the way. What can begin as a mutual decision between the parties can sometimes end up as a drawn-out child custody war. That is the case for the foster parents of a 5-year-old Native American boy.

The boy was only 2 years old when child services placed him with a couple after taking him from his mother. After caring for the child for two years, and with consent from the boy's mother, the couple petitioned to become his legal guardian. A juvenile court denied the request on the basis of the Indian Child Welfare Act, which states a Native American child should be placed with family members or a foster family belonging to a Native American tribe. The court ruled that the child should be sent to live with a tribe 2,000 miles away from the foster family. Legal counsel for the tribe noted that had the tribe been notified when the boy was first removed from the custody of his mother, the matter would already be settled.

Mother had to fight state in child custody dispute

It is the job of a Pennsylvania's child welfare caseworker to take a child from a home when there is perceived danger within that home. Should that happen, the parents of the child are often in for a difficult child custody battle against the state to have their child returned to them. One woman had to fight to regain child custody of her son simply because she was the victim of abuse.

The woman had endured not only permanent injury from a tour of duty in the Iraq War, but also numerous attacks by the biological father of her son. After he was arrested and convicted, she won sole custody of her son, with the father ordered to have no contact with the boy. She and her son moved to another state in search of better security, as they now both suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Because the cost of health insurance was so high, she was not able to get the needed medical treatment for herself and her son and contacted the state's health services for assistance. Instead of giving them the help they needed, the agency took the boy away.

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