Archive for the ‘Child Custody’ Category

Court of Appeals applies Moore factors and returns child to mother

The May 23, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Urban v. Kerscher reverses a Family Court’s continuation of custody to third parties and returns the child to Mother. In 2014 Mother placed her daughter with Leo Kerscher and Mary Crew to pursue and secure a permanent home and employment in Pennsylvania. She originally intended this […]

Court of Appeals approves joint custody order (and the post-trial reformation of an equitable distribution agreement)

The May 2, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion of Clark v. Clark is one of the rare published opinions approving true joint physical custody. Further the opinion approves a post-trial reformation of an equitable distribution agreement based upon what the court described as a “clerical error.” The Clark divorce litigation essentially commenced when the parties […]

Three methods of reducing the impact of an unfavorable guardian ad litem report

The typical response of an unhappy litigant to an unfavorable guardian ad litem report is to accuse the guardian of bias. While in rare instances the guardian is actually biased, more often the report is fairly accurate (reports, being the product of human beings, are rarely perfectly accurate) and the litigant is simply unhappy with […]

Passports and child custody

I know family court judges who don’t have passports and am frankly shocked–until you experience foreign cultures its hard to truly understand that radically different approaches to parenting other than the current American middle-class norm might be effective (and might not be potentially abusive). The world is diverse and increasingly interconnected. Children who don’t get […]

Possibly correct but poorly reasoned custody and relocation decision from the Court of Appeals

The January 24, 2018 Court of Appeals opinion in Burgess v. Arnold is possibly correct but, in at least three important particulars, poorly reasoned. Burgess stems from Mother’s appeal of a family court order that gave the parties joint custody with her having primary custody over all issue except education. That order required that she […]

How fathers who gain custody can keep custody

For reasons having nothing to do with sexism, more mothers than fathers have custody of their children. Often when fathers get custody they have never had the role of equal or primary caretaker of their children. If they gained custody because the mother was unfit (and remains unfit) there is little risk of mother getting […]

Building better restraining orders

A few weeks ago I blogged about what I considered ill-conceived child custody restraining orders. These restraints criminalized behavior that, while not ideal, are hardly incarceration worthy (e.g., no vulgarity around the children), criminalized behavior that is completely proper (one could not bring one’s boyfriend/girlfriend to a family reunion even if one slept in separate […]

South Carolina child custody restraining orders I really hate

By the same process that causes attorneys’ boilerplate to grow over time–they borrow “good” ideas from other attorneys but never weed out redundant or obsolete clauses–the list of restraining orders that family court judges impose on parents continues to grow. Since many local family court judges treat violations of these restraining orders as criminal contempt–and […]

 

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