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Could this child custody case affect Pennsylvania parents?

Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn that judge has issued a ruling between a woman and her boyfriend in a child custody dispute of their three children. The judge ruled in favor of the boyfriend to retain physical child custody, with the mother having scheduled visitation rights. The boyfriend is the biological father of two of the children and has been the main male figure in the third child's life since she was a few months old.

The couple previously had an agreement to equally divide custody between both of them, but the boyfriend was compelled to fight for full custody last year. In retaliation, the mother turned to social media to vent her wrath over him and the unfair treatment she felt she was receiving from the court. The judge in the dispute ordered her to curb all negative public communication because it was harmful to the children. She, in turn, filed a lawsuit against the judge, claiming he was restricting her right to free speech.

A question arose as to whether or not the court transcripts of one of the case's hearings had been altered. A request by a local TV station for the transcripts was denied because of confidentiality regulations, but a recording played in court established there had been no alteration of the proceedings. In addition to primary custody of the children, the boyfriend also has the authority to make the final decision when it comes to the care of the children. The mother will also have to pay child support, but that will be delayed for a few years as the boyfriend owes her a significant amount of money.

It is best for all concerned when a child custody agreement can be worked out with no animosity between two parties; however, that does not always happen. Complex laws and hurt feelings can be two reasons why it is so important for Pennsylvania parents to have a binding legal contract that outlines the duties and responsibilities of each party. No matter the circumstances, the best interests of the children involved should be the foremost concern of the adults making the crucial decisions.

Source: chronicle.augusta.com, "Boyfriend gets kids over mom in custody battle", Sandy Hodson, April 24, 2015

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