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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 24869
Experience:  20 years practicing family law from divorce, custody, support, alimony to equitable distribution
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im having problems getting my step children when we are scheduled

Resolved Question:

im having problems getting my step children when we are scheduled to have them. their mother is always telling us were we can and cant go, what we can and cant do and she dosent give them to us on time or even give them to us 75 percent of the time what can i do an is this leagel
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 7 years ago.

What state are you in?


Is there a visitation and/or custody order of court?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes there is an agreement but the local domestic relations office dont wanna hear it
Expert:  Law Pro replied 7 years ago.
Is it an agreement or an order of court specifying when your to see them?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
it is a order of the courts when we get them and we are supposed to give a 30 day notice of the 2 weeks we want them in the summer so we did so now she is saying we messed up her summer because we didnt give enough time notice and she enrolled the boys in karate mondays thru saturday and that we cant have them on our wednesdays due to karate that we can only have them every other weekend and they MUST GO to karate and the kids don want to go, they have also stated that they wXXXXX XXXXXve with me n daddy
Expert:  Law Pro replied 7 years ago.

Then your option is to inform her that she is in violation of the court order - that she unilaterally enrolled the children in karate school knowing of your custodial/visitation rights. That if she doesn't agree to a 2 weeks period immediately that you will have no alternative but to file a motion for contempt against her and will additionally ask the court to award sanctions against her for your attorney's fees, court costs, costs of loss of work, and travel expenses for her blantant conduct.


I would notify her of this by both a certified letter (return receipt requested) and by telephone - that she should be expecting such in the mail I would only give her 1 week to comply because there isn't much time left of the summer.


Since you did notify her - she didn't give you alternative dates - but said in general "NO". that her actions are clearly in violation of the court order are clear. The judge won't like her actions and will most certainly sanction her for her conduct. Obviously she's taking out her animosity by using the children as her tactic. The judge clearly won't like her conduct.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
this is a great answer but i still want to know 2 things, are there grandparents rights in pa and what are they, and second how much rights do i have as a step mom of the children of 2 years now
Expert:  Law Pro replied 7 years ago.

Yes, there are grandparent rights in PA if the parents are separated and the court makes the determination that such custody/visitation is in the "best interests of the child(ren)".


Historically, only blood relatives had the right to file for custody in Pennsylvania. It was not until the very early 1980s that step-parents began to have their loving relationship with their step-children recognized by Pennsylvania Courts.


Today, anyone in a loving, parental relationship with a minor can file for and perhaps obtain custodial rights in a child. The relationship that must exist is an "in loco parentis" (or like a parent) relationship with the minor child.


Courts have historically been most willing to permit custodial visits between step-parents and their step-child when that step-parent has been the only "father" or "mother" the child has known. For example, natural Father dies, is incarcerated or disappears when the minor child is one year old. Two years later, Mother marries Step-father. They remain married for 10 years and divorce when minor child is 14. Will this step-parent be granted custodial rights in the minor child even though the parent is not a natural parent of the minor child? Quite possibly, yes. Since Step-father is the only "father" the minor child has known, the court would be quite likely to grant custodial rights in the step-parent. Of course, these cases are very fact sensitive and there may be other factors in any case which would change the result one way or the other.


In summary, Step-parents (male or female) who have developed a loving, parental relationship with a minor child may have enforceable custodial rights in that minor child.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

i hve been acting as a mom to them for 2 yrs but am not married to the dad yet we are supposed to marry soon do i still have rights


Expert:  Law Pro replied 7 years ago.
Wow - your really reaching now. I have not seen a court granting such. Sorry, I would have to say, NO. But you could always be the first for whome they grant rights to - it wouldn't be that far fetched given the circumstances.
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