Skip to main content
Jeanne B. Costopoulos

Jeanne Costopoulos’s Answers

916 total


  • I have a serious issue regarding child support and how much I am paying.

    Last year, I had 4 employees and made $60,000. Since I am self employed, they used my tax returns. For all of 2015, I have only had 1 employee, and am on track to make $38,000. How in the world do I do this? I am paying close to $350 a week in sup...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    You should file a petition to decrease child support at domestic relations on the basis that your income has decreased. The burden will be on you to show that you did not voluntarily reduce your income so be prepared to show how circumstances beyond your control have resulted in such a significant drop in earnings.

    See question 
  • What is the procedure for filing a motion to change divorce venue and getting it heard by a divorce judge in Dauphin County?

    Initial response and Motion to Change Venue of a divorce in Dauphin County. Pro Se Defendant. Motion to Change Venue and Brief in Support of Changing Venue prepared. How does a pro se Defendant file these documents and get the matter heard in Daup...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    Unless there is real estate in another county or state, it is doubtful you will succeed in obtaining a venue change. To learn more about venue, read the applicable PA Rules of Civil Procedure.

    See question 
  • My ex and I attend court soon, and she will try to use health against me. This will be a child custody and family law case.

    I've had some episodes of anxiety and depression, but nothing that has ever held me from living life to the fullest and doing everything necessary for my kids. The first time I went to a phyciatrist was 10 days after she was holding my kids from m...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    It would be wise to obtain a report from a doctor or psychologist that you do not currently suffer from any mental issues that would affect your ability to have custody of your children.

    See question 
  • Is my employer able to terminate me for lost time as a surrogate mother?

    I recently started the process of becoming a gestational carrier. I've been able to file for FMLA for all of my surrogacy related absences, however since it is intermittent time, I must use PTO for all FMLA absences. My concern is that since I wil...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    This is an employment law question. I have re-tagged it.

    See question 
  • Is Pennsylvania, more in particular York County more in favor of 50/50?

    All I want is what's fair, but I am not sure she wants that, and from what I know, her attorney is very well versed, and is very good.

    Jeanne’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There are several factors considered when determining what is best, but most judges appear to lean towards a shared arrangement if it makes sense in light of where everyone lives, what their schedules are, the frequency of contact in recent months, etc.

    See question 
  • YORK COUNTY: From my understanding, the concilliator can enter a temporary order till court.

    What type of orders do they usually do? I know they can all be different, but am curious as to a typical situation.

    Jeanne’s Answer

    Sometimes an order will be recommended that is similar to the situation that has been in place unless there are common sense reasons to change the arrangement.

    See question 
  • My ex left me after 12 years (my son is 10 and daughter is 3).

    We have all resided together for the life of the kids. She just took off one day and immediately went and filed for support. How is this even legal? She gave me no choice and just took my kids. We are going to court soon, but I am paying absurd am...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    It is completely legally to decide to leave a relationship. Unless an agreement is reached, child custody will be decided by a judge based on the custody factors listed in the Custody Act. Child support is based primarily on the income of the parties through application of the PA Support Guidelines. Be thankful you are not married or she could also make claims for spousal support/alimony and equitable distribution of all of you assets.

    See question 
  • Cohabitation and alimony

    If MSA says no alimony after marriage, what if ex wife lives with a partner who she is married under God and gets health insurance through him and files joint taxes, does she qualify for alimony sill?

    Jeanne’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Only if the MSA says no alimony if she cohabits (which most do say). If she actually needs to be married according to your MSA, then you can try to file a petition to terminate alimony on the basis that she is in effect married, but since PA no longer recognized common law marriage the case could go either way.

    See question 
  • The full child custody procedure?

    Can anyone give me insight as to how the whole process works? You start off at mediation, then conciliation, then court? Are there three steps or am I missing stuff? This is assuming that we don't agree at mediation or conciliation.

    Jeanne’s Answer

    1) File the complaint or petition with a criminal record/abuse affidavit
    2) File a pre-conference memorandum (and criminal record/abuse affidavit if you have not done so yet because you were not the one who filed the initial complaint or petition)
    3) Attend a custody conciliation conference (can bring an attorney)
    4) Attend mediation (no attorneys, just the parties)
    5) Attend Kid's First Workshop and file certificate of completion with the court
    6) Give notice to opposing side within two weeks after the conciliation as to whether you have decided to do a home study or custody evaluation and, if so, the contact information of who you have retained to do the home study or custody evaluation
    6) File pretrial memorandum with proposed parenting plan and updated criminal record/abuse verification (due date as well as other directives will be in interim order issued following initial custody conciliation conference)
    7) Attend pretrial conference with the judge
    8) Hearing

    See question 
  • I WISH TO FILE FOR MOTION TO COMPEL MENTAL HEALTH EVALUATION FOR BIPOLAR TOWARDS MY EX WIFE, DOES THE FORMA PAUPERIS COVER FEE?

    I ALREADY FILED FOR A COSTIDY HEARING AND I WAS GRANTED THE PETITION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, NOW I WISH TO FILE FOR MOTION TO COMPEL MENTAL HEALTH EVALUATION FOR BIPOLAR TOWARDS MY EX WIFE, DOES THE FORMA PAUPERIS COVER THE FILIN...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    If you were granted IFP status then all filing fees are waived. However, you will need to pay for the mental health evaluation.

    See question