Month: July 2014

Pennsylvania Factors in Child Custody Cases

In 2011, the Pennsylvania Legislature amended the Child Custody Statutes to incorporate 15 factors that a court MUST consider and analyze before making a decision in a child custody dispute. Below is the Statute which lists each factor relevant by the Court. Parties in child custody litigation should have their actions guided by the factors listed below:

ยง 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.

Contact our firm if you have any questions regarding Child Custody and the factors involved in custody disputes.

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An Arrest does Not mean Guilt!

A 27-year-old Philadelphia man was accused of drug trafficking after authorities allegedly found large quantities of heroin and cocaine on his person. He was arrested after allegedly attempting to flee from police who were supposedly serving another unrelated warrant in his area. Police allegedly confiscated three cell phones, large quantities of drugs and a little over US $2000 from Mr. Quinn before taking him to jail on a $50,000 bail. He was arrested on the 100 block of Hampden Road at around 9:30 p.m. on July 13.

Mr. Quinn was charged as being a major drug dealer in the area. The amount for bail seemed excessively high to some legal experts; however, the police superintendent upheld the decision of the court and the actions of his officers who were not in the area to serve any type of procedure on the Philadelphia man initially.

Although the man drew attention to himself by fleeing police, the actions of the police may not have been consistent with Philadelphia law. However, in order to present this properly in court, the accused man may need to hire a legal professional who is experienced with the drug trafficking and law enforcement statues in the area.

Drug trafficking laws are becoming ever more draconian in certain Philadelphia territories, and just because someone has been accused of a crime, does not mean that he or she has committed it. It may be beneficial to hire a defense when the stakes are this high. The system can sometimes seem overwhelming. A criminal defense attorney may be able to make the legal systems easier to comprehend for their clients and may be able to construct an effective defense.

Source: Delaware County Daily Times, “Man facing drug charges”, Linda Reilly, July 16, 2013