Category: Child Custody

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Grandparent Custody Law

Parents' Marital Separation is Not Enough

September 17, 2016 | Child Custody, Court Decisions

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

Grandparents who seek custody rights faced a setback this month when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down a portion of the law that allowed grandparents to sue for custody when the children’s parents were separated for at least six months.  The Supreme Court, in D.P. and B.P. v. G.J.P. and A.P., No. 25 WAP 2016 (September 9, 2016), examined the grandparent standing law, that defines which grandparents may sue for custody rights.  The law, […]

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Is Parental Conflict Too Great for Shared Custody?

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Weighs Shared Custody Factors

August 12, 2016 | Child Custody

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

Estranged parents in Pennsylvania might wonder whether a court is likely to award shared custody when there is parental conflict. Recently the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, in S.A.W. v. R.J.S. (non-precedential), No. 2214 MDA 2015 (August 5, 2016), heard an appeal from a Father hoping to overturn a shared custody decision. The Father argued that shared custody was not in the children’s best interests because the parents were incapable of cooperating with […]

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Hear Constitutional Challenge to Grandparent Visitation

November 30, 2015 | Child Custody, Court Decisions

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

This month, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania accepted a custody case involving a constitutional challenge to the grandparent custody law.  In D.P. and B.P. v. G.J.P. and A.P. (Ponko), No. 25 WAP 2015, the custody case bypassed the Superior Court, going straight up to the Supreme Court after a Westmoreland County trial court held that the grandparent custody statute was unconstitutional. Under the current law (23 Pa.C.S. § 5325), in effect since 2011, grandparents […]

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Sherri Shepherd decision confirms surrogacy contract in Pennsylvania

November 30, 2015 | Child Custody, Child Support, Court Decisions

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

In re Baby S., 2015 Pa.Super. 244 (November 23, 2015) Sherri Shepherd, one of the hosts of the ABC-TV daytime talk show “The View,” and her ex-husband Lamar Sally were married for just over a year when they arranged a surrogate to bear their second child.  Having previously given birth to a child who was 15 weeks premature (by her first husband), Sheppard was deemed to be incapable of a natural pregnancy, […]

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