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Caroline L. Vodzak

Caroline Vodzak’s Answers

13 total


  • How long will take my divorce if my husband will not sign the papers;he is in prison now.

    we're married for 17 years and have a child together.

    Caroline’s Answer

    If a spouse does not consent, a two-year wait from the time of separation is required. But a spouse may pursue a divorce on "fault" grounds. There are several listed in the Pennsylvania statute, one of which is that the spouse was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of two or more years after conviction of a crime. 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(a)(5).

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  • I live in Pa, my husband declaired that he wanted a divorse in Oct 12' but didn't want the separation till Nov 12'.

    We live in the same house I'm on one level hes on the other we share things like the kitchen, living room because neither of us can afford to move out. So my husband wanted to save some money to speed things up to move out he wanted us to refinanc...

    Caroline’s Answer

    There is no “legal separation” in Pennsylvania. Separation occurs when spouses cease living as husband and wife, even if they reside in the same house. An intention to dissolve the marriage must be clearly communicated, and when there is a disagreement about the date, and that date is an issue, a court may examine a number of factors, such as whether the parties slept in the same room and led separate lives. If both parties consent to divorce, they do not need to wait two years.

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  • Do grandparents and sibblings have visitation rights in the stae of Pa?

    I am a grandmother of two children belonging to my daughter, plus I adopted her oldest one. Theoldest being 7yrs wants to see his brother & sister which the father has custody. I was baby sitting them from sunday evening until friday evenings all ...

    Caroline’s Answer

    In Pennsylvania, grandparents may file for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody when the parents have been separated for at least six months or have commenced and continued a divorce proceeding. Grandparents may also file for any form of physical and/or legal custody if their relationship with the child began with the parent’s consent or by court order, they are willing to assume responsibility for the child, and the child is substantially at risk because of parental abuse, neglect, drug/alcohol abuse, or incapacity. Pennsylvania law, 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 5324 and 5325, provides more situations than I described here for standing to file. Certainly, there is more involved than filing, so I hope that you can talk to a lawyer near you who can explain everything fully and help you to resume your relationship with your grandchildren.

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  • I left my husband. can he get me for abandonment? how long before i have to file for legal separation? does he get everything?

    i left him because for the past few years, we have been too much like best friends - but not husband & wife. i was ignored, never went out unless i nagged him. all he wanted to do was play his video games. never noticed when i was crying (i never ...

    Caroline’s Answer

    I am sorry about your situation. There is no "legal separation" in Pennsylvania, and therefore nothing to file. Pennsylvania is a "no fault" divorce state, but one may choose to proceed on fault grounds in certain circumstances. For abandonment, a person would need to prove that his spouse's leaving was "willful and malicious" and "without reasonable cause," that he suffered injury from this, and that the spouse was absent for one year or longer. That doesn't necessarily sound like the facts as you describe them. Please find an attorney in your area that you can sit down and talk to. Many do provide free consultations. A person who has not yet filed for divorce may receive spousal support through the courts, and appropriate claims may be made in divorce papers to protect an individual's rights.

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  • How many months or years does a parent a have to be absent form the childs life before the parent's rights are terminated?

    My daughters father have not seen her in 7 months

    Caroline’s Answer

    In Pennsylvania, a person's parental rights cannot be terminated (or voluntarily relinquished) if there is not a person intending to adopt. If there is an anticipated adoption, a person's parental rights may be involuntarily terminated by the court. Several grounds are listed in the statute, 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511 (a), but two of them are: 1. The parent by conduct continuing for a period of at least **six months** immediately preceding the filing of the petition either has evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim to a child or has refused or failed to perform parental duties. 2. The repeated and continued incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal of the parent has caused the child to be without essential parental care, control or subsistence necessary for his physical or mental well-being and the conditions and causes of the incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal cannot or will not be remedied by the parent. Only one of the grounds needs to be established.

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  • How do i insure my husband get custody of my son if i die? anyway around bio disabled dad not wanting to give up rights?

    my husband is NOT my sons bio father but has been my sons dad since my son was 4months old. my sons bio father is physically disabled and doesnt see my son on a regular basis but my son recieves disablity checks due to his bio father's condition. ...

    Caroline’s Answer

    In Pennsylvania, a person's parental rights may be involuntarily terminated by the court if he refuses to relinquish his rights and certain conditions are met. First, there needs to be a person intending to adopt and there must be grounds for such a termination. Several grounds are listed in the statute, 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511 (a), but two of them are: 1. The parent by conduct continuing for a period of at least six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition either has evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim to a child or has refused or failed to perform parental duties. 2. The repeated and continued incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal of the parent has caused the child to be without essential parental care, control or subsistence necessary for his physical or mental well-being and the conditions and causes of the incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal cannot or will not be remedied by the parent. Only one of the grounds needs to be established. Hopefully, the particular facts of your situation will fall into one the listed grounds, and your husband can adopt your son after having a court involuntarily terminate the father's parental rights. This will require a court hearing, so it would be good to find a lawyer to assist you.

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  • Can the state of pa terminate my childs fathers rights.

    my sons father hasnt seen him since he was 3 1/2 months old we were never married we fought alot I left and moved back to pa I have full custody he doesnt call write anything my son is now four is there anyway to get his rights terminated withou...

    Caroline’s Answer

    I completely understand your situation, but unfortunately, no. The sole purpose of termination of parental rights is to remove obstacles to permit an adoption to take place.

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  • My husband wants to adopt my 8yr old her father has never been in her life what steps do we need to take? we have no clue

    My daughter father has never been in her life she wouldnt know what he looks like if he was standing next to her and she knows nothing about him but he knows about her and has refuse to acknowledge her. My husband has been in her life since she wa...

    Caroline’s Answer

    Your post indicates that you have “no clue” as to how to complete an adoption and are seeking step-by-step instructions and legal advice from professionals so that you can do it yourself without paying a lawyer, unless you deem it is necessary. Adoption is not a simple process and involves documents and court hearings. It is clear that you understand that problems can result from your handling the matter alone.

    I hesitate stating the obvious when responding to posts such as this, but: You should consult an experienced lawyer in your part of the state (Philadelphia) to help you with this matter. Responses to your post won’t (and can’t) be complete and specific enough to give you what you need to accomplish your goal.

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  • If a mother voluntarily terminates her parental rights and has no contact with the child for four years, can she get visitation?

    The child's father is against letting the mother have any contact with the child, but the child lives with the maternal grandmother. Can the father prevent the mother from having contact with the child?

    Caroline’s Answer

    In Pennsylvania, a natural parent cannot voluntarily relinquish his rights and obligations to his child -- unless there is an intent to adopt. The sole purpose of termination of parental rights is to remove any block to a potential adoption. The voluntary termination process is done through the courts. If this was in fact done, the absent parent would have no visitation rights.

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  • How would my sister go about signing her rights to her daughter over to me and my husband?

    My sister has a 5 month old daughter that my husband and I have been taking care of since she was 2 weeks old. My sister said she wants to sign over her rights to us. She has recently gone to jail for leaving her older two kids home alone and I wa...

    Caroline’s Answer

    "Sign over her rights" suggests that what you are seeking may not necessarily be custody, but adoption of this child.

    Relatives can adopt, and the natural mother can voluntarily relinquish her parental rights to her child. Of course, the natural father's rights must also be terminated in order for the adoption to proceed. This can be by voluntary relinquishment or involuntary termination.

    Searching online for "relative adoption" in Pennsylvania can lead to some basic information on how this works.

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