The new rules relate to parenting coordinators and open the possibility of a judicial district implementing a parenting coordination program. Pennsylvania last overhauled its child custody laws in 2010, when it required that Common Pleas judges address 16 factors when considering custody or visitation and explain decisions about them in final orders. Is the child to be heard?” Palm added. Davis and Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, of Newtown Borough, will introduce a companion bill in the state House. In May 2019, a new House Bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly which, if passed, would radically shift how Pennsylvania Family Courts make determinations in child custody cases. The legislature cannot mandate implementation of judicial training, Santarsiero said, but he called the training a significant piece of the legislation to ensure that court personnel understand and recognize signs of physical and sexual abuse and trauma and its impact on children. According to a news article on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania's website, parenting coordinators may help resolve problems in a way that benefits parents and, most importantly, children in the custody process: "parenting coordination is a non-confrontational, conflict-resolution process that helps families implement and comply with custody orders, reduce struggles between parents which harm their children, and minimize custody-related litigation.". All rights reserved. These laws take into account changes in the family structure and the expansion of classes of individuals who may qualify to file for physical or legal custody of minor children. Current child custody law uses the “best interest of the child” standard when determining who will have physical custody of children during a divorce. The bill includes language that would bar any form of custody being awarded a parent or party who “jeopardizes the health and safety of a child by unreasonably placing the child at substantial risk of severe emotional distress or bodily harm.” It also requires that court-ordered supervised visitation be overseen by a court-ordered professional in a “therapeutic” setting. Pennsylvania child custody laws let judges deciding child custody matters treat past violent ... Oct 5, 2019 at 12:00 PM ... and trauma and its impact on children. Posted on May 29, 2019 by Leora Cohen Schiff — No Comments ↓ For the past several decades the “alimony deduction” has been available to all divorcing couples. It was assumed that continuing contact with both co-parents after separation or divorce is in the best interest of the child. Too often a child disclosing harm they have experienced at the hands of a parent or other household member takes a backseat as the court focuses on legal arguments involving parents’ rights, said Cathleen Palm, founder and executive director of the Center for Children’s Justice in Berks County. But supervised visitation in private child custody cases is a far rarer situation, mostly because no outside agency is involved, he said. A newly introduced piece of legislation wants to make sure factors impacting a child's health and safety get first priority in those decisions. The new class of individuals (third parties) who will have standing to file for custody must meet all of the following criteria as set forth in 23 Pa… If the court makes a finding of abuse, the perpetrator would be limited to supervised custody until he or she can prove they don’t pose a risk to the child’s health and safety. Who will get custody of our child? Santarsiero's bill would, among other changes, add to those custody factors that family court judges must consider and elevate to high priority factors that put a child's health and safety at risk, such as if a parent has a history of violent behavior, accusations of abuse, assault, untreated mental health concerns, and whether a child expresses fear of a parent. “This bill would restrict supervised visits to therapists and therapeutic environments, who is going to do that for the hundreds or thousands of families who will need the service?” Cervone said. According to ABC News 27, this new law would address the problem of what happens when a parent does not follow custody orders. Very few communities have high-quality, publicly funded supervised visitation centers. “This bill invites this new lens around ‘safety conditions’ representing a vision we all want, but seems hard to see played out in practice — ‘minimum any risk of harm to the child,’” Palm said. The court can refuse to hear a grandparent custody action if both parents believe that contact with the grandparents is not in the best interest of the child. Shepardize or Keycite the rule. Who will get custody of our child? If Pennsylvania had a child custody court law in place like the one three Bucks County lawmakers propose, the family of Kayden Mancuso believe the Lower Makefield girl would likely be celebrating her 9th birthday this month. Big changes are happening right now in PA custody law. Pennsylvania child custody laws: Old vs. New. The new rules specify the necessary qualifications of a parenting coordinator, define his/her scope of authority and explain the procedures related to recommendations by a coordinator. 3059 ; June 15, 2019). Thu-Fri Nov 26-27: closed. Pennsylvania child custody lawyers provide answers to frequently asked questions with regards to Pennsylvania child custody and custody laws. HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bill in Pennsylvania’s state House aims to give more separated or divorced parents equal custody time with their children. After being appointed by the court, the parenting coordinator would talk with the parties about disagreements and work together to come up with potential resolutions. They amend Rule 1915.11-1 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure and adopt Rules 1915.22 and 1915.23. Next week, on October 1, 2019, an order amending Chapter 1920 (Actions of Divorce or For Annulment of Marriage) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure will go into effect ( 49 Pa.B. Self-Help Research - Statutes, Court Rules, etc. It recommended the court award Mancuso unsupervised visits “contingent” on him entering mental health treatment, but the Bucks County judge assigned the case did not require it in his final custody order issued three months before Kayden's murder. The bill also formally requests the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to implement ongoing, evidence-based training programs for judges and relevant court personnel regarding child abuse, domestic violence, and the impact of child abuse and domestic violence on children. The PA Supreme Court adopted new rules concerning custody that went into effect 3/1/2019.