Skip to main content
Jeanne B. Costopoulos

Jeanne Costopoulos’s Answers

1,150 total


  • How to get custody of my nephew, even though I live in a different state?

    I live in Pennsylvania, about 5 hours from my sister in New York. She has a one year old son that I am thinking of trying to take custody of. Her live in boyfriend puts his hands on her, in front of the child. She's called the cops on him multi...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    If the child resides in PA and has not resided with you for a significant period of time, then you do not personally have standing to pursue custody of your nephew under the Custody Act. As grandmother of the child, your mother could pursue custody if the child resides in PA. In either case if the child resides in NY, then you need to contact a NY attorney regarding your options because custody laws are different from state to state.

    See question 
  • Can I file a motion for Contempt of Court w/Enforcement along with my motion for Modification of my Parenting Plan and Time Shar

    My ex and I have been divorced since 08 in Fla I now live in PA. We both got remarried but my ex and his new wife are refusing to let me see or talk to my girls. She tells me that I have NO RIGHTS and that I'm not allowed to talk to or see my chi...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    If the children reside in Florida then you would need to discuss your situation with an attorney in Florida and file your custody pleadings there.

    See question 
  • Under Pennsylvania law, can I lock out my son and put his possessions out of my house when he is physically and verbally abusive

    Under Pennsylvania law, can I lock out my son and put his possessions out of my house when 1. he is contributing absolutely nothing toward household expenses, and not paying rent and 2 he is physically and verbally abusive.

    Jeanne’s Answer

    No, but if he is physically abusive you may file a petition for protection from abuse which, if granted, would immediately oust him from the house. He would then need to make arrangements to retrieve his belongings accompanied by a constable or some other court approved method.

    See question 
  • Can you file for custody for your children who live in another state without going to that state?

    My boyfriend has two children who live in Puerto Rico with their mother. He has had temporary custody of them in the past due to the mother having personal issues to where she was unable to care for them. He was suppose to have them for I believe ...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    You need to file a petition for contempt and maybe for modification of the custody order. This would be done in the place where the current custody order was issued. If there never was a custody order, then it you would be filing an initial custody complaint and that would be done in the place where the children have been residing for the past six months or more.

    See question 
  • My husband found out 20+ years to late that he is a dad. Daughter says we can still adopt her even through she is married?

    we have not gotten a paternity test done because it costs more than we can spend. but she says we can still adopt her. She doesn't talk to her mother. her grandparents raised her. She hasn't talked to the man she thought was her father for years.

    Jeanne’s Answer

    The paternity test costs less than an adoption.

    Yes, you can file a petition to adopt her if she consents.

    See question 
  • Where do I file for child custody?

    My son's dad is living in new York and I'm in Pennsylvania and he has my son we are not legally separated yet or anything where can I file for divorce and child custody and which do I file first?

    Jeanne’s Answer

    Custody should be filed where your son lived for the past six months. Divorce should be filed either where marital property is located or where either of you have resided for the past six months.

    See question 
  • Parent needing assisted living for medical care.Does not want state to take family home. Time frame to transfer so kids can keep

    Hello. Pennsylvania. Parent will be needing medical care and to move into assisted living in the very near future. She does not want the family home that her late husband built to go to the state when this happens. What is the time frame and metho...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    This is an estate law question, not family law. I have changed the practice area designation.

    See question 
  • Child support and custody of my 17 yr. Old son, who graduates months after he turns 18 yrs. Old.

    I have full custody of 2 out of the three of my children. My oldest son Is 17 and will be 18 in Oct. I was told I have to pay child support for my son until the day he graduates high school and he graduates high school 8 months after he turns 18....

    Jeanne’s Answer

    Yes, you must pay child support until your son is both 18 and graduates high school. Whether or not you have contact with him is not relevant to paying support.

    See question 
  • What are the statues for grandparent rights in Pennsylvania.

    My son's father has died March 5th, 2016. His parents have been nagging for my son to spend the night with them. But I don't trust them to have my son because of how that whole side of the family acts I don't feel that they will give him back onc...

    Jeanne’s Answer

    23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5324
    § 5324. Standing for any form of physical custody or legal custody

    The following individuals may file an action under this chapter for any form of physical custody or legal custody:
    (1) A parent of the child.
    (2) A person who stands in loco parentis to the child.
    (3) A grandparent of the child who is not in loco parentis to the child:
    (i) whose relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order;
    (ii) who assumes or is willing to assume responsibility for the child; and
    (iii) when one of the following conditions is met:
    (A) the child has been determined to be a dependent child under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters);
    (B) the child is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse or incapacity; or
    (C) the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, in which case the action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home.

    23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5325
    § 5325. Standing for partial physical custody and supervised physical custody

    In addition to situations set forth in section 5324 (relating to standing for any form of physical custody or legal custody), grandparents and great-grandparents may file an action under this chapter for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody in the following situations:
    (1) where the parent of the child is deceased, a parent or grandparent of the deceased parent may file an action under this section;
    (2) where the parents of the child have been separated for a period of at least six months or have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage; or
    (3) when the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, an action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home.

    https://govt.westlaw.com/pac/Document/NF87B66502A2811E0A3318AE499BD0948?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)

    https://govt.westlaw.com/pac/Document/NB33BEEB02A2911E0A3318AE499BD0948?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)

    See question 
  • Can this affect settlement - equitable distribution and/or alimony?

    Spouse A leaves responsibility of all home and child care expenses post separation to Spouse B?

    Jeanne’s Answer

    This has nothing to do with equitable distribution or alimony. Both equitable distribution and alimony are either settled upon or else they are determined by a divorce master based upon the factors listed in the PA Divorce Code. If one spouse makes more than the other, then the spouse making less may file a claim for spousal support and/or APL, which may include a mortgage contribution if the mortgage payment is greater than 25% of the spouse making less and that spouse is residing in the house. Child care expenses are handled through domestic relations. If there are extraordinary marital debts, then a special relief could also be filed on the divorce docket to request contribution towards debt payments pending final resolution of the case.

    See question