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Topics - backwardsbike

Pennsylvania State Forum / Centre County ,PA?
Dec 12, 2004, 11:32:40 AM
Are there any posters here from Centre County, PA?  I am intersted in obtaining information about current custody cases ( within the last 6 years).
Moms Without Custody / Olanna
May 30, 2007, 03:58:38 PM
Hi there. Your response was quite lost in lizmiller's post but I wanted to reply.  You were questioning why anyone would take advice from me since I married a man with a mental illness and an addiction.  

And also you seemed to think I was "blowing everyone else off".

First of all,  I married a MAN lving with bipolar disorder and an addcition.  MAN is the first part here.  I am a woman living with arthritis.  I have lived with depression.  I had lived with anxeity disorder in the past.  But first of all- I was a person.  I come from a rehabilitation perspective here, unlike some people who think if one has a mental illness or addcition - let alone both- the person ceases to be a person and becomes an illenss.

My bipolar, recovering alcoholic, husband and I have two children of our own who are doing very well, thnak you very much.  In addition- I have rehabilitated myself as I lost my career as a nurse whan I herniated several discs in my spine.  I am now about to receive my Master's of Edcuation in the next year.

Why did I choose to get involved with a man with "issues"?  Honey- we all have issues.  Some are offically diagnosed and some aren't but we've all got 'em.  I knew that regardless of what my husband did or ddin't do, my life would be a success.  Why?  Because I will settle for nothing less.  I have tremendous internal resources.  Is my life for everyone?  Nope.  But it was right for me and might just be right for Lizmiller.  Unless you're walking in her shoes I don't think you have the right to judge her.

As for divorce being hard enough, well I guess that depends on the person who is going thru it.  For me it had good points and bad.  I lost financial secruity til I could provide it for myself.  I gained independence and freedom from my ex's negative thinking that was very difficult to live with. It took such energy to rise above it that iI had little nergy left to pursue my own passions.  Most things in life have pro's and con's if we are honest about htem.  Would it have be easier if I had just stayed alone- no- no necessarily.  my husband follows his program, I follow mine and we support each other.  I remeber when I was so heartbroken because of somehting that happened to me surrounding my divorce that I didn't remember driving home.  It was my husband who held me and supported me and saw that I had a safe palce in which to process the betrayal that had just happened to me.  In that respect- it was a very good thing that I had him in my life.  Ihavenot forgotten that- I actually owe him a debt for that day and many others.  He is my soulmate- not merely a man with a mental illness and an addcition.

As far as blowing "everyone" off-- I don't see it that way.  What I do see is that I noticed a very prejudicial tone in your post and stepped in to support Lizmiller because I can see her sistuation from another angle.

The "professionals" in my custody case saw things just like you did.  As a result my children are in the custody of a man who doesn't beleive in taking them to the doctor or filling perscriptions.  He sends my DD to school with holes in her sneakers so big her socks were soaked by the time she got on the bus.  And she wore a belt that had broken and was duct taped togehter for a month.  Her dad makes 70K a year and I pay guideline support  even though my income is only from disability until next year.  I had to take X to court to get him to put the medically necessary braces on DD's teeth.  Son had toenails so ingrown they required surgery.  

But my X doesn't have a mental illness so that makes him a fit parent.  He drinks like a fish but doesn't attend AA so that means he's NOT an alcoholic because alcoholics go to meetings and drunks got to bars, right? My X was verbally abusive to me for so many years of my marriage.  I had chronic health problems which cleared up in the first 90 days that I was out of his home.  They have never returned even though I made the by your definition, "poor decison" to live with the man with mental illness and addcition issues.

What I have learnd is this:  I have more respect for a person who admits they have aproblem and is willing to take the steps to deal with it that I do for anyone who likes to sit back and point fingers.
My husband is just such a man.  He's got more class on his worst day that some people have on thier best. He has no need to put others down in order to feel good. He can admit when he's wrong.  He is able to put other people ahead of his own desires when necesary. I think that's a pretty good resume.  One my X didn't have and one lots of people who don't live with diagnosed disabilities could not live up to.

I think the world would be a better place if people could just see others as the people they are instead of thier labels.  In the case of LIZmiller, her X never seemed concerend about her judgement in men when they were together. He left the child with her at times.  His fear for his child's saftey only seems to come about when she is in a romantic realtionship with another man.  When the man disappears- so do his concerns- he's dropped cases multiple times and sent the child for visitations in between. if one is honestly concerned about their child's saftey and the other parent's judgement that parent wouldn't send the child at all or would seek supervised visits.  That hasn't happened.

If Lizmiller's BF is guilty he should fry.  But if he's innocent why should he be taken from his family just to appease some guy with an axe to grind?  

Her decison to allow the baby to live else where while she lived with her BF is her own to make. I perhaps ,might have made a different one on that issue. But I'm not her, I haven't walked the proverbal mile in her moccassins.  I am sure that she is doing what she feels is best and i didn't read that she asked for any advice on that situtation. her questions seemed to be centered around whether or not she had a chance with her DD.

Obviously, she's in a tough spot. Nobody can make these decisons but her.  But I believe that she is an adult- so I think we need to respect her as such.
Hi All--All opinions are welcome

I have four children.  Two that I see only EOW( DS1,15 and DD1,12) and two living with DH and I full time( DS2,6 and DD2,2)  So I am both a CP mom and an NCP mom.

The kids who only visit have been having a real hard time lately.  DS1 is suffering mild depression.  DD1 is lying and stealing.  Both are starting to have issues with school.  My relationship with both is suffering due to the long separations.  As well as difficulties with telephone access in CP's home.  Where once we were very close now we have drifted apart to the point that I feel less like family and more like an inn keeper.

The children now lie without batting an eyelid. They are disrespectful. They are not the children they once were.

CP frustrates my legal custody and is very disrespectful to me in front of the children and others.  He blocks mt access to school and medical info as often as possible.  In short I feellike I am no longer a parent.  Or more precisely that if things continue as they are I will loose the kids forever.

I lost custody after 22 months of joint 50-50 due to my DH going to jail for a probation violation.  He had had a long legal history before I knew him.  He has since been clean, sober and out of legal trouble for 5 years.  

The CP knew of his history and had no problem withit while he was dating and his new wife was working long swing shifts.  He let me have the kids for daycare and sick and snow days.  We never had a problem.

That was until the property settled and I moved to a different school district.  Att he time both kids were in school in this district where I purchased my home due to being enrolled in a private school.  At the same time I bought my house the CP's new wife lost her job and wanted to care for the children.  That is when my custody nightmare began.

My question now is do I fight for Primary custody knowing that DS1 is angry at being dragged into court all the time?  I have almost no relationship with him now and fear if the status quo continues I will loose touch with him all together.  DD1 really is aloof as well.  She doesn't even remember livng with me.  Both kids told a custody evaluator they "wanted things to stay the same"  then both admitted they lied and witheld info from the evaluator.

I feel really torn.  I worry about the children both physically ( CP does not believe in docotrs and will give OTC meds instead of taking to doctor) and mentally.  Yet I know there is a real possibility that I could go through a trial,  upset my kids even more and loose anyway.  

I know there is a lot of wisdom out there among all of you.  Please help.

Dear Socrateaser / Make up time
Feb 11, 2007, 01:38:00 PM
All parties are in PA.  I have joint leagal custody and partial physical custody.  I only see the children EOW and half of summers and half of holidays.  

A GAL was appointed in this case in November.  She has contacted my attorney because my DD who is 14 wanted to particpate in a school play.  The play, which is a yearly occurance takes the bulk of the weekend which is 50% of my parenting time for the month.  During that weekend I have no meaningful time with my DD.  I asked the CP for either two make up days or to switch weekends or to be able to get my DD from school in order to have dinner with her a few nights.

My X refused to reply to my request even though I sent it twice.  Ihad not been informed of the date that DD would have to declare her intention to be in the play or not.  X later said in counseling that he did not reply becasue "She knows I'm not giving make up time.  Why should I have to tell her again!"

I even tried working out make up time with her.  She just said that it was too stressful and couldn't understand why I wouldn't just give up the weekend.

I found out about her not being able to be in the play before the GAL called.  I offered to contact the school to try to get her  into the play by explaining what had happened.  My dd refused saying she no longer wanted to be in the play, but apprarently she communicated her displeasure to the GAL.

The GAL beleives I should forgo parenting time so the children can particpate in any activity at all.

I must mention that thier father supports NO activites unless it is volunteer firefighting becasue that's the activity he himself is involved in.  He rarely attends things the chiildren have at school.  

 My son had to recently quit a job becasue his father would not allow him to work on his father's custodial weekends.  My son had had the job for two years and was never once allowed to go to work on his dad's time.  Dad wouldn't even negotiate the Friday pick up time so son could go to work on time.  He had to be 45 minutes late every Friday night.

I beleive this was becasue the job was on my end of town and I had helped son get it.  Dad refused to allow this 17 year old to drive to the job because he wouldn't support it, but then dad complained because he felt he shouldn't have to drive to get son at 11:00 PM at night on Friday and Saturday nights.

My plan is continue doing exactly what I have been doing for the last nine years which is to allow the children to go to activites which do not take up over 50% of my parenting time and not allow those which keep the kids away for more than 50% of thier waking hours.

If I allow the children to go to all the thing s they should be going to my realtionship with them is weakened.  If I disallow acitives the children don't get to do anyhting age appropriate and are tied up with adults for at least four nights a week going to firefighter trainings.

There is currently no court order in place regarding activites.


Would it be in my best interests to continue to do what I am doing and let the GAL be the one to file a motion if she feels a need to change the order? Or should I pursure something from the judge myself?

If the GAL did file a motion to change the part of the order and require me to take the children to any and all acitvites without make up time where would the burden of proof be regarding the children's best interest?

Do you have any ideas on waht to do since the children miss out significantly on age approriate acitives since they can only do them when with me and dad is so uncooperative?
Dear Socrateaser / GAL Questions
Jan 11, 2007, 12:09:32 AM
Hi Soc,

Everyone and order are in PA.  Due to the inability of the father and I to communicate and father's apparent unwillinginess to attend counseling requested by me and ordered by the judge the judge had appointed a GAL for the children.

Children are DS 17 (18 in April) DD 14.5.  Loads of PAS in case.  I' ve written to you before.  My Dh lives with bipolar disorder and is a recovering alcoholic.  We have had our share, an possibly more of ups and downs here.

The GAL has gotten an order for her to have complete access to everyone's medical record.  My attorney actually thought the order referred only to the children.  I requested clarification and I was right.  She wants EVERYONE'S medical record.  Office notes, MRI results, Surgery reports, lab tests, the whole shebang.

My Dh adn I are both disabled.  Our disabilities do not affect our ability to parent.  We were recently investigated by CYS due to a relapse on my DH's part.  We we were found to not be in need of services.  In the past two custody evals we have been an open book with regard to both of our medical conditions.  I have degenerative disc disease and a chronic issue with my cervical spine due to a car accident.  Our openess has simply allowed people who are not medical doctors or psychiatrists to misconstrue our information and use it to discriminate against us.

I object to this GAL having all of this information on the basis of it not affecting the children's best interest AND it being a violation of our privacy without a benefit to the children.  Both my Dh and I need to be able to tell our medical providers exactly how we are feeing without fear that the GAL will read this and twist it into something other than what it is.

I am willing to have any medical provider write a letter stating their perceptions of the effect of our medical histories  on our abilty to parent and on the providers perception as to whether either of us is a danger to the children based on our medical status.  Please note:  We have two custodial children here living with us at all times and no medical provider, counsleor, psychitrist or anyone else has ever had a worry about the children's saftey and/ or level of care in our custody.  My X however, has made two unfounded reports to CYS about us.

My DH is a stay at home dad to our two children.  I am an LPN for the last 25 years, parent educator and am currently enrolled in a master's program in rehabiltation counseling. We bothhold child abuse clearances.

I am not seeking to change custody.  I simply want to maintain the status quo for the next three years and eight months.  The children have already been living with my Dh and I with me having EOW and half of summers for the last nine years with no untoward effects excpet for the stress of having thier parents constantly at odds with one another.

The GAL has sent my attorney an email stating that we would have the opportunity to object to her getting any of our medical records before the judge.


What is the best arguement to keep this GAL out of our medical records?
Dear Socrateaser / PA Child Support Issue
Dec 18, 2006, 11:47:46 AM
Hi Soc!

I am NCM.  Everyone and order is in PA.  I have the kids only EOW and half of all holidays and summers. CP refuses t allow anymore time.

I have been on Long Term disability for two years.  Last year I was in an auto accident ( 100% the other guy's fault) I am still dealing with medical issues from that.

I was afforded the chance to go back to school for a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.  I have an undergrad degree in the same field and was a nurse for 25 years before becoming disabled.

I thought, "Oh good, I'll get the degree, paid for by the state.  Then I'll be able to work for state VR to pay back the grant.  Finally I will earn more than povery level wages. The most I ever ade in my entire life was 18,000 as an LPN.

Of course as soon as I went back to school my LTD company decided that if I could attend classes for nine hours a week I must not be disabled and should be able to work full time.  They cut off my benefits.

I filed a CS modification.  I have a hearing later this week.  My attorney says they will impute my income and I will have to pay as if I was working 40 hours a week due to the fact that I'm attending school.  I am also funded by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation which means that they decided I couldn't be gainfully employed without further training.

I wasn't even able to work 40 hours a week before I went on disability!  I worked a reduced schedule of 32 hours a week.  I have dealt with my back condition for 17 years and am much worse due to the auto accident form last December.

I need Chiropractic care once every seven days and narcotic pain relievers just to continue my classes, all nine hours a week.  I have exhausted my auto insurance medical beneifts of $10,000 and am now paying out of pocket for my care.

X makes about 60 to 70 K. Kids wear hand me downs.  I have pics of DD's shoes with holes in them so large you could fit your fist into them, so what I was paying wasn't going to the children anyway.

I have two other children from my second marriage that I support and my DH is disabled with only a small SSDI and SSI for income. When I got disabiltiy benfits we were sinking further into financial ruins with mounting debt just to pay for necessities.


How do I defend against being imputed for 40 hours a week?

Does the fact that the CS isn't being spent on the kids count toward any of this?

Is there any way to be allowed to finish my degree and THEN pay support?

When is "hardship" an appropriate defense?
Dear Socrateaser / Parenting time suspended
Oct 27, 2006, 08:56:17 PM
I received a phone call today from my X telling me that I would not have custody of my children today as he had gotten an order suspending any time until a court hearing has occurred.

The reason for this order is that X says my Dh was drinking while the children were here.  This incident occurred in September.  My lawyer sent me a copy of a petiton which was dated 9/29/06.  Then it wasn't filed at the court house. We have never gotten a time stamped copy of the petition.  The order was dated 10/23/06.

Sometime between then and now it must hvae been filed.  However the children have had four visits since the motion was written and my attorney was served.

I am fairly sure that my evidence will support the fact that my DH was NOT drinking on the day in question.  He is a recovering alcoholic.  He has also had drinking problems in the past.  However, he is now clean and sober and has professionals who will back that up.  There was also another adult here at the time my X alleges Dh was drinking.

The petiton said my children did not want to be here unless I was present.  I am always here with them on weekends and i had requested my X change the night of the visit when the alleged drinking was supposed to have occured to accomadate a class I am taking but he refused adn we had to see the counsleor the court ordered for X to finally agree that it was best for the kids if they actually got to see me during the visit.

When I called my lawyer to inquire about the order she said she had gotten "something" but hadn't realized it was an order.  She just realized she was unavilable on the date in question and asked to have it rescheduled.  We do not have a new date as of yet, but it may well be that we will have to wait until after the holidays.


Can I do anything legally to try to get the parenting time started back up before a hearing?

Since I am at home when the children are scheduled to come and the objection had been that the children did not want to be here without me is this reason to say the paretning time should not be suspended?

Is it true that there was nothing my lawyer could have done to fight this until it was filed?

Dear Socrateaser / Custody modification
Oct 04, 2006, 02:00:48 AM
All parties and order in PA.  I am NCM.  I have parenting time EOW and half of all summers and school breaks.

My X and I have been to court numerous times over the last 8.5 years that we've been separated/divcorced.  Last Februray we had a custody modifcation hearing which I had filed.

My X insisted the children speak to the judge.  My 17 year old son was highly and visably upset and acted like he wanted no part of it.  My 14 year old DD is all for her dad and was saying terrible things about me.

 There was no change to custody, but at my request the judge ordered X and I to counsleing.  The counsleor and I both thought it was good idea to include the kids. X refused.

So far, the counseling has only produced one face to face session between my X adn I.  In it I was asking that a biweekly week night two hour visit be changed from Tuesday night to another week night as I began taking graduate classes and a required class met on the court ordered night for the visit.

I had emailed my X previously about this and he had refused to change the night of the visit but agreed to meet with the counsloer about it.

I thought the session went well.  There were two visits prior to the session with the counsleor which my Dh exercised in my abscense.  There are half siblings here in my home, so the kids all got to spend the time together.  I got to see the children for about a quarter of the visit before having to leave for the class.

Well, X has filed a custody mod based on the NC kids telling him that my DH was drinking during the visit and that I had refused to change the night of the visit.

This is totally false.  I have documentation that I did agree to change the night of the visit.  And had my X just agreed to the switch when I asked we would not be in this perdicament now as the children would never have been with my Dh instead of me.

My Dh was not drinking that night. I talked to him and to the two NC kids during the vist by phone and my 78 year old aunt was here and with Dh the whole time.  But she is my aunt.  There were no other witnesses.

My X never informed me of the alleged drinking and turned the kids over for my parenting time the following Friday.  The children never said a word about the alleged drinking to me or to anyone else except thier dad and his lawyer.  The weekend visit was unremarkable.

My X did not come to get the children early from the Tuesday night visit.  They apparently did not call him to say they were uncomfortable during the visit.

My X had filed a reprot with CYS against me in August. This was due to an incident of drinking by my DH.  Dh received treatment. i filed a PFA which would make it possible for me to havehim removed from the premesis if he drinks again. The case was closed on September 20.  CYS did not feel my family was in need of any services at that time.  This is the second report X has made on us. The last was unfounded and called a "spite" report.

My DS told me at the time of the custody hearing in February that he would say whateverhis dad told him to say. Whne I saked why he said, " Becasue I know that no matter what happends, you will alwsy love us".  I am scared to geath about what my children will say to the judge this time or what "evidence" may be manufactured by my X.


Other than calling my aunt as a witness, how can I prove Dh was not drinking?

In your opinion, would my aunt be considered credible?

Do my other facts suggest that the chidren may not have really been in any discomfort or that the X was not actually worried about thier comfort or saftey?

Any other words of advice for me?

All parties and order are in PA.  I have posted previously about being court ordered to counseling and having the counselor go behind my back and email the kids then lie to me about it.  You suggested I request another counselor.  My attorney feels the judge will look at this as my just looking for a counselor who will agree with my point of view.

Currently, I have issues with the counselor regarding a summary she wrote in Auagust and billed me for.  When I realized I had been billed for a summary I had neither contacted for nor requested I placed a stop payment on the check and reissued a check for the amount of the counseling only.

I received a bill where the counseling center is insisting I pay for the summary and charging me a fee for a returned check from when I placed the stop payment on the original check.

When I called to complain the bookeeper informed me that since I was court ordered to the counseling the provider would periodically write reports that I was bound by the service agreement to pay for. When I aske dhow often these reports would be written I was told as often as the counselor felt the need to write one.

What I discovered when I dug out the service agreement is that under confidnetiality it says that if one is involved in litigation the counseling center was obligated to provide records which were court ordered.

The judge in my case ordered the counseling but never wrote in the order than any reports were to be issued.  I neither requested nor consented to the report.  When I began the session, the counselor told me"Everything in hereis confidential".  I knew better than that, but I beleived that confidentiality would be in force except in the case of homicidal statements, suicidal statements, child or elder abuse.

On the report the counselor indicated it was released to my X and to me. It covered the history of our custody issues detailing that two custody evals had been done, that CYS had become involved and that I had filed recently, a PFA against my DH. The counselor also suggests that the children's best interest need to be redefined and makes reference to my DH's alcohol issues.

 I find this very damaging. There is no way at all for me to know who has read this report. The counselor answered my question of who this was being released to with , " To both of you.  You can show it to your atorney and anyone else you want to."

  Also, CYS has completed thier investigation of my case and have determined that my family is in no need of services.


What recourse do I have in not paying for this report?

What can I do in veiw of the fact that my confidentiality was violated?

To whom should I report this issue to, besides my lawyer?
Dear Socrateaser / Protecting myself
Sep 11, 2006, 05:28:59 PM
Hi Soc,

I have read your board for a few years now and have learned a lot.  Thank you for the service you provide.  I have not seen this problem mentioned before, but its an issue for me.

All parties in PA.  In Feb 06 judge ordered counseling for both Cp and myself. I am NCM.  The order was based on the fact that for the last 8.5 years CP and I have been to court numerous times for things most adults could work out on thier own.

CP refused to participate in choosing a counselor.  I chose one.  he refused to attend the first two appointments.  Finally showed up for the third.  The joint session was not good as he refuses to speak to me, even when we are in the same room.

This resulted in the counselor requesting that she meet with each of us privately.  I hesitated as X is very manipulative and things generally go south for me once he gets any professional behind closed doors.  But I agreed because I trusted the counselor who seemed to understand the situation.

Well, true to form, once he spoke to her behind closed doors she refused to put us in the same room together again.  She also did not do any counseling with me on the individual sessions she had me schedule.

FOr the most part she just attempted to intimidate  me into dropping a contempt motion I had filed agaisnt Cp. On four occassions she told me I had betterdrop it becasue it would "come back to bite me in the behind."

Ihad explained to her that I was still observeing the very same behaviors in CP that led me to file the motion and so would not drop it without seeing some progress towards cooperation.

I won the contempt.  X never showed up.  The judge asked me how the counseling was going and i gave him a breif accounting including that we were not meeting face to face, that the counselor had done no counseling with me except to tell me to drop the motion for contempt four different times and that there was no plan that I knew of for face to face sessions.

The judge was very angry and made part of the order for "Meaningful counsleing aimed at preventing behavior leading to more contempts".  My lawyer got a copy of the transcript and asked me to give it to the counselor.

After that she wrote a summary which in my opinion was very biased against me adn aimed at covering her own behind with regard to why she wasn't doing face to face counseling.  She stated that she thought the children's best interests needed to be redefined.

I had caught her in a bald face lie in that she was emailing the children while there were with the X.  She told me she wasn't communicating with them.  I had wanted to make them a part of the counsleing adn X had refused.  yet wanted them to email the counselor behind my back adn she apparntly participated.

I confronted her about this and told her I lacked trust in her adn had lost confidence in the therapeutic process.  SHe poo pooed this notion and called me "nit picky".

I refused to pay for the summary she had written on the basis that I had not contracted for any report writing and had not asked for it.  She left a voice mail message asking to discuss this with me.  When I tried to call her back it took in excess of two weeks to hear from her again.

This time in, another voice mail message, she said that X and i were to be scheduleing appointments face to face an were to agree on the dates betwen us and that she wasn't going to do this for us.  She made no mention of the fee for the summary or my issues of trust.  This is the first I knew of her intention for us to meet jointly with her except for a line in her summary.  Nowhere in it did she suggest we were to arrange our own appointments.

So, now I have an issue with needing a minor schedule change due to some graduate classes I am taking that cannot be rearranged.  X refuses to discuss alternative times and says he will discuss only with the counselor.

I made an appointment for us to meet with her in about two weeks.  I have concerns that she may try to frame me as the uncooperative party.  I feel if this were to happen there would be no way I could prove other wise.  I mean, she could say anything she wanted  and I would have no proof otherwise.  

I have already pulled the consnet I had signed for the counselor to speak with my attorney.  My hope was that it would prevent any more reports from being written.


1.  How do I protect myself during the session with X and counselor?

2. Is there a way to get her to withdraw from our case?

3. Can I file something with the court that would protect me in the event that this biased "summary report" gets shown to the judge.

4. Since the counseling is court ordered can I somehow get out of it without being in contempt of the order.
Dear Socrateaser / Motion for Reconsideration
Aug 25, 2006, 08:00:19 PM
All parties and the court order are in PA.

Last month I filed a contempt petition against the Cp for failure to abide by the FROR as well as a failure to keep me informed of events that are important to the children.  And failure to provide educational and medical information.

I won.  X did not even attend the hearing.  His counsel was present and when asked by the judge if his client was planning on attending the lawyer said, " I presume so, your honor."  Hearing lasted a full hour and at no time during it did the CP phone or appear.

There was a finding of contempt.   A further clarification of a previous order which was for counseling which was not happening and a $250 fine.

Today I get a Motion for Reconsideration from the CP.  It just states several of the issues I raised at the contempt hearing.  DOesn't say why the judge should reconsider and asks that the court reconsider its finding of contempt and/or the imposition of monetary penalty of $250.


If the CP disputed the issues set forth in the contempt petiton should he not have just shown up and defended himself?

Can you really just say " I don't like the ruling, Judge.  Think again."?

SHould I bring other issues of contempt up that have arisen since last month?

DO I have a shot at getting X to pay for my attorney's fees

Are there any other remedies, of a legal sort, that I can use to get my X to stop harrassing me?
Dear Socrateaser / Student Loan Monies
Aug 24, 2006, 06:30:16 PM
Hi Soc,

All parties in PA.  Custody and CS order also in PA.  

I am a returning adult student adn will be attending graduate school.  i have been awarded several thousand dollars in student loans.  I wanted to use some of the money to pay off some credit card debt which I have accrued.


If I accept the loan monies will it be considered income for child support purposes?

If the above is yes, would I have to pay support on the money even though I had to pay it out almost immediately to keep from going bankrupt?
All parties in PA.  I am NCM. I have filed to modify child support based on the fact that I am medically disabled and unable to work.  

FOr the past two years I have had long term disability coverage which had a definition of disabled as being unable to perform my own job.  After 24 months I have to be too disabled to do any job to continue getting the payments.

I hold a BS degree in rehabilitation and an LPN.  The jobs that I qualify for are not sedentary by a long shot.  With severe degenerative disc disease I must work at a sedentary job where I can frequently change my position as needed.

I have obtained aid from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in my state becasue they beleive it necessary for me to get a master's degree in order to obtain sedentary work.

I provided a statement from my doctor regarding my disability and it says that I am not released to work.

Yet, Domestic RElations issued a order stating that I should not be granted a reduction even though my only income will be an educational stipend of $500 a month.  Out of this they feel I should be able to continue pay$150 a month support.  And on the remaining $350 I am expected to support myself and two additonal children.  CP makes 55K a year.  My income without the disability will be 6K a year.


Aside from the statement my doctor already sent, what evidence do I need to support my claim of disability?

Would it be helpful to have a representative from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation present at the hearing?
Dear Socrateaser / Must I pay?
Aug 15, 2006, 11:24:28 AM
All parties in PA.  I am NCM.  Numerous trips to court have resulted in the judge ordering both parents to counsleing for the purpose of increasing communication and avoiding further litigation.  The counseling was at my request and I picked the counselor.

The counsleor was at first very recpetive to me.  Then the father refused to meet with me face to face. The counsleor agreed to meeting with us once a month individually.  This occured for three months.

After each meeting with the father the counselor seemed more negative towards me.  She shared none of the fathers concerns with me and only spoke of the need for me to drop a contempt motion I had filed against the father.

The violations of the court order continued and I filed for contempt. I won. The counsleor was angry that my return to court made her look bad in that she wasn't really doing any counseling.

On my first meeting with her since the contempt hearing she presented me with a "summary" she had written.  Bascially it was just a cover your butt memo that said she hadn't been doing any face to face counseling becasue she wanted to get to know us but would be starting face to face meetings twice a month from September onward.

This summary isn't useful to me at all.  It is about a page long and very neutral.  But I have no idea how often she will generate these summaries and what my X may use them for.

I have caught this counselor in a lie twice now and when confronted she back peddles and doesn't accept any responsibility.  I know my X will be very unlikely to agree to anything that might benefit the children's relationship with me.  And i think the counsleor is biased in X's favor.  I am frankly afraid she will report untrue notions of my being uncooperatve in her future "summaries".

DO I have to pay for this summary?

What legal recourse do I have as far as getting out of the counseling?

Is there a way to handle this that will not make me look like I am just trying to avoid cooperating?

Is there anything else that I should be aware of with regard to court ordered counseling that could bite me in the butt?
Dear Socrateaser / Thanks Soc...more questions
Jul 20, 2006, 02:47:58 AM
Dear Soc,

I have been reading here for years and have learned a lot.  You are the only attorney I trust completely.

All parties are in PA.  I have joint legal and partial physical custody of two children ages 17 and 13.

 Yesterday I won in a contempt action against the CP.  Judge fined him $250 and further ordered that the counseling he ordered be participated in and "meaningful" With the result that the X not do anything else which brings another contempt action.  Considering that this judge "doesn't like contempts" in that he usually blows them off, I consider this significant.  Thank you, becasue without your advice I would have never known to pursue one.  I had to talk my attorney into it!  

The X did not show up to court yesterday at all. My attorney orderd a copy of the transcript and told me to show it to our counselor who seems to be bending to X's desire of not being in the same room with me.  The counseling,which I asked you about in another post has been going on since the last week of April.  

After the first session, when my X requested to meet privately with the counselor, we have not been fact to face.  In addtion, my sessions seemed to be about the counselor threatening, cajoling and "educating me" to drop the contempt action. When the judge asked, I had to twll him that I was unaware of any issues the X had with me.  The counselor never tells me anyhing or shares any information.

My lawyer tells me to ask the counselor if she thinks she is able to conduct this "meaningful" counseling.  If she says no we are going to someone who can do the job.


How will X know that he has been found in contempt?  

Will this go onto his criminal record?

Will not being in court work against him?

Dear Socrateaser / Who gets to decide?
Jul 16, 2006, 01:43:22 PM
Hi Soc,

All parties in PA.  I am NCM.  Court order states:

"It is anticpated that the couple's minor son will attend boyscout camp the third week of every summer.  The parent who was to have custody of the child will get two overnights the follwing week to ensure that three weeks do not pass without that parent seeing minor son"

This year the camp was the fourth week of the summer.  X was to have had custody.  So I anticipated that he will get two overnights from me for this week, since camp was last week from Sunday to Saturday morning.  X picked son up from Camp and spent all of Saturday, Saturday night and today until 7 PM with child.

X phoned this AM giving me the option of having him keep son either Sunday/Monday or Friday/ Saturday.  X waited unilt 7 hours before I was to gain custody to offer me this chioce.

I already have many plans for the children this week.  I offered X Tuesady and Thursday.  He states that he will refuse to bring child to the custody exchange tonight.


Who is to have the decison as to which overnights are given for make up?

Will X be in contempt of court if he fails to deliver the child for my custody period?

Can I be held in contempt for not choosing one of the X's options for the make up time?

Dear Socrateaser / Court Ordered counseling
Jul 14, 2006, 04:20:59 AM
All parties in PA.  I am NCM.  We have been divorced for 8 years and have had many trips to court.  CP refuses to keep me infomed of anything at all to do with the children.

This past Feb. I filed for a modification of custody.  CP wanted the kids, ages 17 and 13 to speak with the judge.  Prior to seeeing the judge my son told me he would be telling the judge exactly what his dad said to tell him becasue he knew that no matter what I would always love him.

After speaking with the kids the judge told both attorneys he would not be changing the order based on what the kids said which was that they didn't want any changes.  i wanted more time with them CP wanted them to be able to choose when and if they came to my home.  This would have resulted in much less time as Cp controls the children.

I requested that the judge order CP adn i to co parenting counsleing.  We don't really have anyhting like that here but I knew of several good counsleors who deal with family conflict.  Judge granted my request.

CP objected vigorously to this becasue he claimed, in front of the judge, that he could not possible sit in a room with me as he hates me so much and that I lie to custody evlauators.  Please note:  He has custody of the children!

It took my lawyer til April to get X to go to a counseling appointment.  The counselor agreed that we would meet with her individually "for a while" before starting joint sessions.

X will only meet one time per month and so far, other than the intake we haven't met in the same room again.  The counsleor hasn't discussed anyhting with me other than the fact that she would like me to drop a petition for contmept that i have on the table against my X.

The counselor has discussed this four times.  Each time she has put more pressure on me to drop my motion.  I have explained that I am continuig to see the exact same behavior from my X with no more communication or cooperation since before we started the counseling.

According to the counselor, she fears that if we go before the judge he will think the counseling is not working.  I have to say, from where I sit, it isn't working.

Additonally, X refused to sign a release of information for the courts. I signed one.  I requested we bring the children into the counseling becasue they tell me one thing and X somehting else.  he refused to allow it.

The counselor has been emailing the children and lied to me about this.  I know of at least one email my DD supposedly wrote to the counselor which I suspect was written by an adult due to the grammar, content and spelling.  

Emailing the children makes me feel as thought they are in the counseling but not really in it  because they cannot be confronted on their double talk which I see as a big part of the problem.


Can the counselor write a report to the court since my X hasn't signed a release of information?

What can I do about the fact that the counsleor lied to me about communicating with my children?

Would it be any benefit to bring to the judge's attention the fact that X will not allow the kids to be in the counsleing but has them emailing the counselor?

DO you think that it will work to my benefit that I signed a realease but X did not?
Dear Socrateaser / Change of circumstance?
Jun 25, 2006, 05:43:49 AM
All parties in PA.  I am NC.

We have ongoing issues with regard to Cp not keeping regualr doctor appointments for the children adn not filling or giving perscription meds.

About a year a go I called CPS to ask what their advice was for getting my children the meds the docotr perscribed.  I was told to ake a report.  I did this.  CPS advised me that if a child showed up for visitation ill again that I needed to call them prior to making a doctor's appointment.  They provided me an emergency number for them.

Last week my child came to visitation ill.  I needed the perscription med which is ordered to be used on an as needed basis.  X informed me of the pharmacy he uses.  When I called to refill the acript I was told it expired 18 months ago.

I called the docotr's office to obtain anew perscription.  Was told they neeed to see child first. X had failed to keep clinic appointment for recheck. Took two days to get an appointment.

Called CPS.  Was told that I needed to ask the doctor if not keeping the reckeck appointment adnnot getting the perscrition refilled was considered medical neglect.  A physican's assistant was handeling my appointment with DD and basically told me to take a hike and that they were only interested in examining DD.

I informed CPS of what had transpired adn said that according to doctor's office it seemed not o be that serious.  I thought my whole complint was pretty much toast at that point without the doc saying it was neglectful.

But CPS asked meif I would be willing to consider the case resolved if they could assure me that the meds would be available for the child's use on a daily basis from now on.  I said that I would consider it resolved in this case.

CPS has asked me to sign a relaese for the records from the doc.  They are aslo going to see DD in CP's custody next week.

We are aslo awaiting a date for a hearing on a contempt petiton where the contempts revolve around CP not allowing me FROR time with chidren, failure to follow Co with regard to keeeping me informed of children's activites and commitments so that I can schedule and plan paretnting time to maximize children's particpation in acitvites. ANd X keeping information from me with regard to the children choosing courses for the next school year so that I had not input into the decision making process.


Would CPS involvement due tot he medication issues be considered a change of circumstance?

Would this in combination with the contempts against the CP be enough to warrant a change in custody?
Dear Socrateaser / PA CS Question
Jun 10, 2006, 04:45:10 AM
Hi Soc!

All parties in PA.  I am NCM.  I have parenting time with my children EOW and half of summers.  

This year my DD is going to be a part of the band at school.  This will necessitate a lot fo travel.  I live about 35 miles from the school.  During the week of Band camp, whihc is my week of custody I willhave to drive in excess of 600 miles to get DD to and from the camp each day.

I currently pay support.  I am within 135% of federal poverty level.

My X refuses to either help with the transportation or to do any reimbursment for gas.  His position is : "IF you don't wanna transport then don't exercise custody.


Is there anything I can file with Domestic Relations to obtain some financil relief from the large amount of money I will need to spend on gas?
Dear Socrateaser / PA CS question
Jun 01, 2006, 10:45:49 AM
Hi Soc,

I am writing today for a friend.  All parties are in PA.

 The couple had two children.  Dad has custody of  daughter, age 14.  Mother has custody of son.  The son turned 18 in the last year.  Father  is paying a small amount of support based on the fact t at his income is higher than the mother's.  

The mother had been a student.  Subsequently she graduated and now makes more money than the father.

At an earler hearing it was decided that the mother would begin paying the father $600 a month CS for the minor daughter after the son graduated. This as based on her higher earning capacity after her graduation.

The father has now received notice that the son will not graduate this month as planned.  When the father contacted the school he learned that the son was passing all classes until two weeks ago when he stopped attending school.  

According to the learning support teacher ( the son has a learning disability) he would have just scaped by had he continued to attend school.  The learning support teacher could shed no light on what reason was given for the absences.

The son has indacted that he will enroll again next fall for a second senior year at the same school.  He will be 19 by the time school starts again in the fall.


1.Is there an arguement that would let the father off the hook for paying child support due to the factt hat the child failed only becasue he stopped attending school?

2.If the son enrolls in school again next fall, what is to prevent him from not attending again as he did this spring?

3.  Would it be possible for this mother to keep this child in school until the age of 21 to avoid paying the higher amount of support?

4. As the child is over the age of 18 and not subject to a custody order what recourse does the father have in this situation?
Dear Socrateaser / PA child support question
Apr 28, 2006, 03:41:57 PM
All parties in PA.  I am NCP with EOW, half of summers and half of holidays.

I will be returning to grad school.  I currently pay child support.  When I go back to school I will be living on a small stipend that is paid monthly.  There is also the possiblity of other grant monies beign available to me as a lump sum.

Currently, I recieve disability beenfits which will end in a few months due to the terms of the contract with the insurance carrier and the definition of disability.


Must I report any of the grant money to Domestic Relations for the purpose of paying child support?

Is there a difference between being paid the lump sum versus the monthly stipend?

Is it likely that I have my income imputed adn stillhave to pay my current rate?
Dear Socrateaser / Follow up questions
Mar 16, 2006, 10:27:01 AM
Hi Soc,

I had posted seveal weeks ago.  I was in court on 2/2/06 for what was supposed to be a custody modification.  In the end we never had the hearing as the judge spoke with the children in chanmbers adn decided to keep custody and the order the same EXCEP he wanted the parents to attend counsleing in the hopes that it would help the do a better job of making joint decisons.  All parties are in PA.

In my last post I had asked advice becasue when the order arrived it was substantially different from our original order adnd "took away" all of my time that I have now excet for every other weekend.  In court and on record the judge did say that the order was ro remain the same except for the counsleing.  You told me it would not be out of line for an amended order to take 30 days.

I called my attorney weekly as she had told me she was contacting the other attorney.  He never responded and the week before last I got a call from my attorney telling me the judge had asked her to "write something up and I'll sign it".  She now claims it is "on her desk and she'll get to it when she can".  It has been six weeks since we were in court.

The other party also never responded about the counsleor we suggested.  No counseling has yet to take place.  They just never responded.  Nor did they put forth any names of counselors they were willing to see.

 My X was vigourously opposed to the counseling.  So much so that the judge told his attorney to " take your client out into the hall for five minutes, he looks like someone hit him in the head with a brick.".


1. Is it unreasonable for me to push the issue of the counseling?

2. What are the legal remedies, if any,  to move the counseling forward?

3.  Is there any way the as yet un corrected court order can hurt me?  

I am NCM.  All parties are in PA.  Two NC chldren 16 year old son and 13 year old daughter.

DD arrived for weeknight visitation with a birthday party inviatation for this weekend.  The party would require me to drive 90 minutes each way, so that's six hours travel in all.  It is also an overnight.  So a good portion of my time with her would be gone.

My suggestion was to see if the Cp would be willing to switch a day so that DD could attend the party, which incidentally is for a relative of the Step-mother's.  Cp is either unwilling or unable to switch.

DD called me hysterical because she won't be able to go to this party.  She thinks this is all my fault.  PAS has been an issue in the case for many years.  She is stating that she intends to not come for the visit this week and possibly never wants to come back again ( typical 13 year old drama).

When DD was here and we discussed the fact that i wouldn't allow her to attend the party but would esee if dad could switch she was cool as a cuccumber.  We saw none of the hysterionics I heard over the phone 15 minutes after Cp picked her up from the visit.

Kids activites are begining to take over a large portion of paretning time and my realtionships with the children are begining to suffer.  Cp will not allow make up time.


What should I do if DD refuses the visit and Cp doesn't make her come?

What is a good way to handle kid's desires/obligations which interfere with parenting time?
Dear Socrateaser / Urgent
Feb 13, 2006, 08:11:15 AM
  All parties are in PA.  I an a NCM.  FOr the past five years I have had an order which gave me EOW, half of all Summers and half of all holidays.

There were numerous problems which involved the CP not being at all flexible with the children's time.  He delays giving an answer about how hoilday time will be divided.  He constantly plans vacations for my weeks in the summer and Fills the children's time for my weekends and will not allow any compensatory time.

I had a custody modifcation scheduled for Feb. 2, 2006.  The Judge did not hear the case.  He instead listened to the childen and decided that no changes would be made to the order.

Through my attorney, I suggested the father and I attend counseling aimed at helping us to negotiate better between us so as to avoid constantly having to go back to court.  The judge agreed and an order was made.

In the court room after briefly telling us what the children had told him he dictated an order which was to incluled all of the time I had had before plus the counseling.

I recieved the order on Feb. 11,2006.  It includes nothing but EOW!  There is no holiday schedule.  There is nothing about Summers with the children.

I have contacted my attorney and she told me that she would have the judge do an amended order.

Many things ahve happened in my case which seemed "unusual".  the Judge makes no secret that he dislikes me and has not respect for my decison making in that I left a man who acts like the pillar of the community for one who the judge feels is less than optimum.

I have a great fear of being railroaded right out of my kids lives.


Is there a time limit to have an amended order completed?

IS there anything I can do to ensure that I do not loose the time I had previously been having with my children?
Dear Socrateaser / Getting the truth
Sep 29, 2005, 01:53:41 PM
Hi Soc,

All parties are in PA.  A custody modification is pending.  Child has a Learning Disability which father has failed to accept.  

Five professionals have tested the child.  Four say the disability exsists.   One says son has no disability.  Son is currently under an IEP which has academic monitoring.

 Father fought the IEP but pays lip service to it for the sake of court ie, he will tell the son to duck out of the tutoring but send an email to the special ed teacher stating that he takes it seriously and is dealing with son's reluctance to go.

I have been trying to get a progress report from the History teacher to no avail.  I have emailed twice and gotten no response.  The other teachers have responded to my emails with emailed progress reports.

I have knowledge that son got at least one failing grade on an assignement in History but teacher has written a letter to the court on the father's behalf stating that son is an excellent student whose grades are all A's.

Custodial parent has let all teachers know about the upcoming hearing.  Custodial parent badmouths NCP constantly.  CP also has a history of intimadating anyone who does not side with him unitl the either have nothing to do with the family or say whatever he want them to say.    

This includes the children who say exactly what he wants them to say.  Cp has told the children that if they did not live with Cp they would be in foster care.  PAS is a huge part of the case.

CP has given them custody evalautions to read.  He involves them in legal matters to such an extent that they can quote verbatim different orders, pleadings and hearing notices.  

They have admitted to NCP that they lied to a custody evaluator in the past.  They lie to the NCP so easily it is second nature and tell CP that they are going to dupe the NCP and how they are going to accomplish this ( NCP overheard a phone conversation).

They will be speaking to the judge on the motion of opposing counsel.  They have told their NCP that they will say exactly what their CP tells them to say.


 Is there a way to compel the teacher to be honest about the grades including the failure?

If yes, how do we accomplish this?

IS there a way to get to the truth with regards to  the children talking with the judge?
Dear Socrateaser / Hearing delayed
Sep 01, 2005, 05:58:40 PM
Hi Soc,

All parties are in PA.  I have been divorced for 7.5 years and have been non-custodial parent for 5 years.  I am seeking a custody modifcation in the custody of my children ages 16 and 13.

The reasons involve interference with legal custody, PAS, a dramatic drop in a child's school performance.  Medical and educational neglect, difficulty with my getting emergency custody of the children when I have needed to go out of town for a family emergency.

A hearing was set for today.  9/01/05.  About three weeks ago my attorney let me know it was going to be rescheuled due to the opposing counsel having to go to Mexio for some type of family obligation which could not be rescheduled.

Then I received notice from the court stating it had been rescheduled due to "the court's unavailablity".  All that was confusing enough.  Two reasons for the same delay.  But today my friend spoke  to the opposing counsel by phone!  He's right here in town.

The net result is that the hearing is rescheduled for 9/29/05.  By this date school will already be well under way and I am concerned the judge will not move the children base on that fact alone.

I tried calling my attorney but have not heard back from her.


1.  Is there a certian number of times a party to an action can delay a hearing?

2.  Do the parties have to be honest with each other and the courts about the reason for the delay?

3.  If I loose, would the fact that my friend spoke to this attorney in town today be cause for an appeal?
Dear Socrateaser / Subjective Test Results
Jun 23, 2005, 04:24:14 PM
Hi Soc,

All parties are in PA.  Last year we were ordered to a custody evaluation which was carried out by a Master's Level psychologist.  he had us do a number of test.  Some were objective like the MMPI and the Bricklin. Some were subjective like the draw a person test and a sentence completion test.

The evaluator made some of the test results for some of the participants in the evaluation a part of the report.  But, for the most part, he never really interpreted the results or said much about them.

We are now due to go to a full hearing in Septemeber.

1.  Can I have access to all the test results for the purpose of having them evaluated by my own expert?
Dear Socrateaser / Audio/video recording
Apr 10, 2005, 11:08:10 AM
Hi Soc,

All parties are in PA.  I know that PA is a two party state as far as recoding telephone calls.  My question is about audio and video recording in my own home.

1.  Is it legal to record audio and video within my own home?

2.  Is it necessary to inform other parties that they are being recorded?

Dear Socrateaser / Medical concerns
Feb 21, 2005, 10:51:08 AM
Hi Soc,

I have posted before and you have given very helpful advice.  For that I thank you and now I am back again.

All parties in PA.  Joint legal with BD being primary physcial custodial and BM ( me) having periods of partial physical custody. Namely, I see the kids EOW, half of all holidays and half of summer.

The father has never been very good at getting the kids routine medical care.  He has difficulty taking time off from work to get them to appointments and refuses to allow me to take them during his custodial periods.  His new wife has taken them on occassion but for some unknown reason doesn't do it consistently.

The allergist called my home one month ago and told me someone had requested a refill for DD's hydocortisone nasal spray and that it had been called in to the pharmacy.  But the doctor needed to see DD as it had been two years since her last appointment.  This docotor sees pediatric patients yearly.  I gave them Cps phone number and requested they call him as I do not have custody during their office hours.

To date no appointment has been made.  I verified this through the central appointments line.  I did contact the doctor to ask if this was important enough to make a fuss over.  They say it is important and that te doc won't refill the perscription again without an appointment.  Unfortunately they gave 12 refills so it will be at least a year possibly 24 months before this becomes an issue again.

I would like to have my daughter seen.  I would like the children's routine medical care to be a priority.  I would  like to be able to have some control over this aspect of my childrens' lives.

My ex also recently told a medical provider not to give me information regarding this same DD.  I have joint legal custody.  I had to take a copy of my order to the doctor's office and they had to check with thier legal department before I could get the answers to my questions.

When the question was finally answered I discovered that CP either misunderstood the doctor's directions or just palin misinformed me as what he told me was not the same as what was written in the chart.


1. What can I do to ensure that the children receive their routine medical checkups?

2.  How can I ensure that doctor's instructions are being understood and followed by CP?

3.What steps should I take when instructions are not being followed?

4.  How important is this issue with regards to seeking a custody modication?

5. When does this lack of attention to routine care become medical neglect?

6.  As an NCP how far can I go to see that Cp understands and follows directions without my behavior being considered harrassing?
Dear Socrateaser / Educational records
Feb 08, 2005, 01:08:40 AM
Dear Soc,

Hello again.  You have given me excellent advice in the past.  I am back for more of your wisdom.

All parties in PA.  I am NCP mom.  Children are 15 year old son and 12 year old daughter.  We have a long history of PAS behavior on part of CP.  Also CP has not provided any educational info for the last 7 years.  My attorney claimed instead of a contempt motion I just get the infor from thr schools.  We have joint legal custody so this usually works.

Two weeks ago report cards came out.  I usually get a copy in the mail from the school about three or four days after students receive them. This time I got an emailed copy from CP three days after report cards sent home. I am not sure what prompted this devaition from the norm.  

I called the school to schedule a meeting to go over son's permenant record and mentioned to the guidence counselor that I had not received a copy of report card.  She said she'd get one out to me.  Lo and behold I received it in the mail that day.  A full week after report cards were issued.

There were a number of differeces in the emailed copy from CP and the copy from the school.  First, the form was completely different.  Second there was a handwritten note from a teacher on the copy from CP that didn't appear on copy from school.  Third, there were numerical comment codes ( without a key).  The code on copy from school was different from code on copy emailed by CP.  All grades and teachers names were the same.  Date of issue was listed on both copies and was the same.


1.  Must the school send me an actual copy of the same report card sent to CP?