Can a judge permanently modify a court order during a contempt hearing without either party requesting the change

Asked over 2 years ago - Harrisburg, PA

If the other party lied and filed a bogus contempt petition and the judge believed them, can this decision be reversed

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Debra Rae Mehaffie


    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . In Pennsylvania, credibility determination are at the discretion of the judge. A judge can also make decisions at a child custody hearing that are in the best interests of the child.

  2. Jeanne B. Costopoulos

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . A custody order is never permanent as either party can file a petition to modify it at any time and the judge can modify it at any time. The order will be changed if a change is determined to be in the best interests of the child. The judge has sole discretion to decide what is in a child's best interest and the judge's decision will be reversed on appeal only if the judge clearly misapplied the law, not for believing one witness over another. Your best bet is to start strategizing for when to file your next petition and what you should be doing in the meantime.

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