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Jeanne B. Costopoulos

Jeanne Costopoulos’s Answers

1,003 total

  • What chance does a man stand in being awarded custody of a 7 year old daughter?

    Mother neglects her to the point of not washing her for days at a time, not making her brush her teeth or her hair, yells and swears at her like a drunken sailor. And then buys her everything under the sun to spoil her and make it harder for anyo...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    There are several custody factors that a judge must consider when making a custody determination, but gender is not one of them.

    23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5328
    § 5328. Factors to consider when awarding custody
    (a) Factors.--In ordering any form of custody, the court shall determine the best interest of the child by considering all relevant factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors which affect the safety of the child, including the following:
    (1) Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.
    (2) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child.
    (2.1) The information set forth in section 5329.1(a) (relating to consideration of child abuse and involvement with protective services).
    (3) The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.
    (4) The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life and community life.
    (5) The availability of extended family.
    (6) The child's sibling relationships.
    (7) The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment.
    (8) The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm.
    (9) Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child's emotional needs.
    (10) Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child.
    (11) The proximity of the residences of the parties.
    (12) Each party's availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements.
    (13) The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party's effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party.
    (14) The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party's household.
    (15) The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party's household.
    (16) Any other relevant factor.
    (b) Gender neutral.--In making a determination under subsection (a), no party shall receive preference based upon gender in any award granted under this chapter.

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  • My wife abandoned our marriage of 23yrs. I'm retired(10yrs). If divorced will she have to pay alimony

    Together 33yrs Married 23yrs Son 21yrs old in college (senior) Left me with utility bills I had to seek bankruptcy to save my home

    Jeanne’s Answer

    If you were the dependent spouse during the marriage and your wife has more income than you and you are not residing with another woman then you can file a claim for alimony. In the end, the divorce will weigh various factors set forth in the DIvorce Code to determine if alimony is appropriate and, if so, how much for how long. I have included a link below to the factors.

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  • Do I need a lawyer for child custody?

    My fiance and I have 2 boys together. I'm seriously considering leaving him because he is very mentally and emotionally abusive towards me and controlling. He is always threatening to take the boys from me and keeps saying that he will make sure I...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    If you leave with the boys then you will want to file a custody complaint. You can file the complaint using an attorney or not, it does not matter how it gets filed. You should probably retain in attorney to accompany you to the conciliation conference that will be scheduled once the complaint has been filed. If no custody agreement is reachad at the conference, the case will be scheduled for a hearing before a judge. You shold definitely have an attorney anytime you need to appear before a judge.

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  • Hello - My question is related to child support and child custody.

    My daughter's father and I were unmarried when I gave birth to my daughter. We tried to make it work initially, but separated when my daughter was 15 months old. I thought it important that she have a relationship with both of us and drafted a w...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    If your daughter is not happy under the current arrangement then you may file a petition to modify the current order. If there is no order, then you will need to file a complaint in custody. It will then be scheduled for a custody conciliation conference and your daughter will most likely be asked to speak to the conciliator in private. If no custody agreement is reached at conciliatiion then the case will go to mediation and then trial before a judge. You daughter's preference is just one of many factors that a judge is required to consider.

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  • Custody of my newborn son

    I'm currently married and left my husband when I was 6 Months pregnant. He had full custody of his two daughters. He has since gotten his two daughters taken away from him by the state of MD. They are covered by a protective order. He is allowed ...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    Wait until he files something then argue your points to the conciliator and then the judge if the case doesn't settle at conciliation. The outcome solely depends on who is appointed to make the decision because different conciliators and judges view situations differently based on the facts and circumstances as presented by both sides.

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  • If I can not find my wife to get divorced what do I have to post in a newspaper and for how long to get abdolute divorce

    We have been separated for 12 yrs,she left town can't find her,she cheated om me within 2 weeks after marriage

    Jeanne’s Answer

    First you file the divorce complaint under section 3301(d) of the divorce code. Then you file a petition to serve notice by publication. Once approvied, you publish as set forth in the court's order approving the notice by publication. You will need to attach an affdavit to the petition explaining the steps you have taken to try to find her, such as retained a private investigator or did some internet searches, etc. You will want to attach some sort of report to the petition when you file it with your affidavit.

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  • I need a divorce lawyer. the person I want to divorce live in another state. can I make it happen?

    I live in York PA. My wife lives in Florida.

    Jeanne’s Answer

    If you have lived in York more than six months (and preferably there is not marital real estate in Florida) then you can file a divorce complaint in York and serve it on her in Florida. I will need more details before I can comment regarding the steps necessary to obtain the divorce decree, such as whether there are any assets or debts to divide or if either spouse is seeking alimony or other economic relief.

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  • Family law attorney.

    My ex husband has sole full custody of our 2 children but I still have my parental rights is there a way I can see them cannot afford and attorney.

    Jeanne’s Answer

    You will need to file a petition to modify custody. In York County there are forms you may complete at the self-help center located at the courthouse if you cannot afford an attorney.

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  • Can my husband adopt my eighteen year old son?

    My son's bio dad died in 2014. My husband has been in my son's life since he was 3 1/2 years old. Besides my father & his other grandfather my husband has been the only other steady & full time male figure around. His bio dad was in & out of jail...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    Of course your husband may adopt your son. Adult adoptions are very easy from a procedural standpoint so it would not be a very complicated process to obtain an adoption decree.

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  • My ex and I have a court ordered custody agreement. Can child legally live with me, NCP, and my ex maintain primary?

    We have court order and my ex is primary physical custodian. We agree that our child should live with me in a different school district to get a better education. Ex wants to be able to keep primary physical custody and child support while chil...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    You should just file a petition to modify custody and once you obtain an order granting you primary custody then you should file to stop the current child suport order and then decide if you want support from him.

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