My son lived with a young woman in Pennsylvania for several years without benefit of marriage. This relationship produced a daughter, now age 7. Several months ago, the couple separated; custody of the child is currently being adjudicated, although the former partner has primary custody and both she and the child currently reside with the maternal grandparents in the same town as my son.Through the child, my son discovered that the former partner is about to move in with her new boyfriend in another jurisdiction (different county at minimum, but possibly a different state, as the new boyfriend has close relatives in California). This young man is a convicted felon, as is his mother, with whom he resides; in addition, he has threatened my son's life. To compound the issue, the former partner has shown extremely poor judgment in her parenting; these issues are what contributed significantly to the break-up in the first place. At this point, my son is concerned that his daughter's safety may be at issue; that he may lose the level of contact he currently has with his daughter; also that with his daughter being removed from the current jurisdiction, he may lose some legal parental rights, as well as a proximate parental relationship. Because he is the plaintiff in a legal case, attempting to obtain custody of his daughter, the former partner will not speak to him, also will not comment on whether she is relocating, nor where. This move is scheduled to occur on Sunday; he has attempted to reach his attorney and has been informed that she is unavailable until Tuesday.My son is concerned enough about his daughter's safety that he is considering not returning her to the mother until his lawyer returns. I have advised him that he must contact his lawyer's office and inform that the situation is now acute, and that he needs assistance prior to Tuesday. In any event, the law firm is not open on weekends and so even reaching the law office is likely not to be timely enough. There is a signed agreement with the former partner that provides my son alternate weekends and one weeknight with his daughter, however, as has initiated legal proceedings to get full custody, this agreement has not been approved by a family court judge.My question is: where can my son turn to obtain assistance immediately to ensure that his daughter is not removed from the court's jurisdiction and perhaps out of his parental reach, or even put in an unsafe environment?
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I am typing out my answer. Please remember that this is general information only, not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed.I am sorry for your family's situation. Can you please tell me what state this is currently in, as different states have different procedures.This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Yes, the state is Pennsylvania. I believe that information is in the text of my question.
Thank you and my apologies.where can my son turn to obtain assistance immediately to ensure that his daughter is not removed from the court's jurisdiction and perhaps out of his parental reach, or even put in an unsafe environment?I am sorry for your family's situation. This actually gives rise to two sub-questions that must be answered separately.What Can Be DoneHere, I am going to assume that your son still wants full custody and it sounds like he has filed for it already. While a lawsuit is pending, you are no doubt aware that temporary orders may be set to deal with custody and other issues surrounding custody.If she wishes to relocate, he may file what is known as an ex parte motion for a restraining order, asking that she be enjoined (stopped) from relocating. The way an ex-parte works is that he files said motion with the court and it is heard immediately, meaning on the same day. The court may or may not agree to grant the order depending on the emergency nature (what is the possibility of the child being harmed)? Assuming the Court agrees (or not), the other party (her) is then served with the motion in a few days and the matter is revisited a week or two later once she is served and has the right to defend her decision to relocate. Obviously, if the Court agrees with the initial ex-parte order when filed, she is enjoined from moving until the next hearing, at which time the Court decides whether or not to extend the order.At the same time, he may also request that custody be transferred now. He would have to show that this is "in the best interest of the child." In re Custody of Hernandez, 376 A. 2d 648 - Pa: Superior Court 1977.Where Can I Find An Attorney To Do This?Please try the PA Bar Referral by County...http://www.pabar.org/public/membership/lrsblurb.asp...the attorneys are vetted and qualified and the service is free. Then you can cross-reference the name(s) on www.avvo.com for client reviews, Bar history, and metrics.Doing this, you should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.I hope this finds you well. Please click Reply to Expert to keep talking, or rate my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces only when you are ready, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. I work very hard to formulate an informative answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
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