Posts Tagged ‘reading pa custody attorney’

ENM Law News: Recent Berks County custody cases

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Berks County custody cases often all follow a similar path. But sometimes a client comes to our office with an unusual set a circumstances and we have to think outside the box and act quickly. Here are details of two such Berks County custody cases that Attorney McAllister handled recently.

A father came into our office with concerns that his child’s mother was going to move to a different part of the country with the child. There was not a custody order in place. Attorney McAllister acted fast to prepare the case and was able to serve the mother with paperwork within 2 days of meeting the client. This quick turnaround is important because at the point that she was served, the mother was put on notice that there was a pending custody action. At the emergency custody hearing, Attorney McAllister asked the judge to issue a Writ of Nea Exeat which would prevent the mother from leaving Berks County. The judge agreed with Attorney McAllister’s argument and ordered the mother to keep the child in Berks County pending the custody case. Attorney McAllister was also able to secure partial physical custody rights for his client while the case proceeds through the normal custody process.


The story of the next client began years before she came into our office. When the client’s child was very young, she moved out of Pennsylvania. Prior to her move, the father of the child filed a custody action in Berks County and the judge ordered that our client not leave Pennsylvania with the child. BUT, our client was never served with any of the paperwork relating to the custody case or the judge’s order. Years later, criminal charges were filed against our client for removing the child from Pennsylvania in violation of the court order and she was extradited back. The child was given to the father. Our client went 1 ½ months without seeing her child. After that, she came to our office and Attorney McAllister took her case. He filed for an emergency hearing and asked the judge to return the child to the mother. Attorney McAllister argued that the client was never given notice of the court order entered years ago and that it was in the best interest of the child to go back to the mother because the child had not had a relationship with the father. The judge agreed and granted our client primary physical custody of the child pending an outcome in the custody case. The child was returned to our client immediately after court.

A skilled attorney is always helpful in a Berks County custody case, but that is especially true when there are unusual circumstances. If you are facing the possibility of custody litigation, contact our experienced Reading, PA family law attorneys at 610-372-5128 or

ENM Law News: Custody case dismissed in favor of ENM Law client

Monday, August 28th, 2017

A client came to see Attorney McAllister about a custody case filed by the father of her child in Berks County in December of 2016. Attorney McAllister quickly filed objections to the case on our client’s assertion that the child had been living with her in New Jersey for more than 6 months prior to the filing of the custody action.

Why does that timeframe matter? The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which governs child custody in almost all states is the U.S., determines where a custody action can be filed – this is called venue. A custody action can generally be filed in the child’s home county or the county where the child had previously been living if the child was still living there within 6 months of the commencement of proceedings and if a parent continues to live in that former county.

Once Attorney McAllister filed an objection to the custody case on the basis that the Berks County venue was not appropriate, the judge scheduled a hearing to take testimony from witnesses about when the child moved to New Jersey. After hearing the evidence, the judge determined that the child had in fact been living in New Jersey for more than 6 months prior to the commencement of the custody action and dismissed the case. Attorney McAllister’s experience and knowledge of custody law saved our client from having to travel to Berks County from New Jersey to defend against the custody case.

If a Berks County custody case has been filed against you, you need our knowledgeable Reading, PA custody attorneys to evaluate your case. Call us at 610-372-5128 or email at

ENM Law News: Berks County custody case wins for fathers

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Are you a father in Berks County who is wondering “How can I increase my custody time with my children”? We have experience helping fathers with that exact issue. Here are some recent Reading, PA custody cases that we’ve handled.


A father of 3 came to Attorney Ebner to help him get custody of his children back. The mother of the children had left the children behind when she went to live with a new boyfriend. When she was settled in her new home, she took the children and refused to return them to our client. The mother then filed for custody alleging that our client had abused the children. Attorney Ebner filed an emergency custody petition in Berks County and asked that the court order the mother to return the children. Attorney Ebner was successful and the client was awarded primary physical custody with the mother having custody every other weekend.


Attorney Ebner was able to quickly assist a father of 2 who came to her for help with the custody case involving his children. The mother of the children moved to a new school district while the parties were attempting to reach a shared custody agreement. The mother, without permission from our client, then enrolled the school-age child in the new school district. This type of behavior is not looked upon favorably by the Berks County custody judges. Attorney Ebner quickly brought the matter to the attention of the custody judge and the judge ordered that the child be returned to the client’s school district immediately.


A father of 2 came to Attorney Ebner for help when the mother of his children who had primary physical custody was refusing to allow him to see the children during his court-ordered periods of visitation and was refusing to allow him to take the children on a summer vacation. Attorney Ebner petitioned the Berks County custody court and requested that our client be given make-up time for the visitation missed as a result of the mother’s actions and for permission to take the children on a reasonable vacation. Both requests for granted. Attorney Ebner has since filed for contempt against the mother for failure to follow the custody schedule and the client has asked that he be given primary physical custody of the children. These matters are still pending.


If you need help with your custody case, call our experienced Berks County custody attorneys today at 610-372-5128 or email us at We look forward to evaluating your custody case to see how we can assist you.

ENM Law News: Emergency Custody Petition

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Our Berks County family law attorneys were able to obtain sole physical custody for a client after divorce proceedings began. The opposing party in the divorce was refusing to allow our client to see his children so our attorneys filed an emergency custody petition asking that custody be given to our client. The hearing was expedited and the court granted our client sole custody of his children.

Divorce and custody proceedings can quickly become contentious and it’s important that you have a knowledgeable Berks County family law attorney on your side. Contact our custody attorneys today at 610-372-5128 or email us at

Spotlight Issue: Custody Relocation

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Pennsylvania has strict rules governing the relocation of a child. A parent or guardian cannot relocate with a child unless all parties with custodial rights have agreed to the move or the court has approved the relocation. Relocation is defined as a change in residence which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights. Pennsylvania law does not require that the move be out of the state to qualify as relocation.

Notice requirement – timing

The party proposing the relocation must notify anyone else with custodial rights at least 60 days before the proposed move. If the relocating party did not know and could not reasonably have known of the move within 60 days, and it is not reasonable to delay the move to comply with the 60 day notice requirement, then the relocating party must notify the non-relocating party within 10 days of learning about the need for the move.

Notice requirement – content

The notice of relocation must contain the following information

- new address (unless the relocating party is a victim of abuse in which case the address can be kept confidential)
- names and ages of all persons planning to live at the residence
- telephone number at the new residence, if available
- name of new school district and school
- date of proposed relocation
- proposal for revised custody schedule

Further, the relocating party is required to notify all non-relocating parties that they have 30 days from their receipt of the notice to file an objection to the relocation and that failure to object within those 30 days means that they will not be able to objection to the relocation in the future.

Failure to give reasonable notice

The court has several options when a relocating party fails to give non-relocating parties proper notice. The court can consider the failure as:

- a factor in determining whether or not to approve relocation
- a factor in determining whether or not to modify custody
- a basis for ordering the return of the child to the non-relocating party
- sufficient cause to order the relocating party to pay reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees paid for by the non-relocating party
- a ground for contempt and the imposition of sanctions against the relocating party

It is considered a mitigating factor if the failure to provide reasonable notice is the result of abuse.

Objection to relocation

If a custodial party objects to the relocation then he must file a counter-affidavit asking for an order to prevent the move. The counter-affidavit must be filed within 30 days of receiving notice of the proposed relocation and must be served on the relocating party. In the counter-affidavit the non-relocating party can object to the relocation and/or the proposed modification of custody. If there has been proper notice of the proposed relocation and no objection has been filed, then the non-relocating party is presumed to be in agreement with the move. If a non-relocating party has been given proper notice and has failed to file a counter-affidavit within 30 days of receiving that notice, then the court cannot accept testimony challenging the relocation. A non-relocating party can also complete a counter-affidavit to approve of relocation.

Confirmation of relocation

If no objection to the proposed relocation is filed, then the relocating party must file the following before relocating:

- an affidavit stating that the relocating party has served every custodial party with notice of the proposed relocation, the time to file an objection has passed and no objection to the proposed relocation has been filed
proof that proper notice was given as shown by a return receipt with the signature of the addressee
- a petition to confirm the relocation and modify any existing custody order
- a proposed order with relocation information and modified custody

Modification of custody order

If a non-relocating party files a counter-affidavit approving of both the relocation and the proposed custody modification, then the court may modify the existing custody order by approving the proposed custody schedule submitted by the relocating party. The court will inform the parties how they can modify the custody order in the future. If a non-relocating party files a counter-affidavit objecting to the proposed relocation or proposed custody modification, then the court must hold a hearing. In general, the court is expected to hold a full hearing before the relocation occurs. However, if the court finds that there are exigent circumstances, it may approve the relocation pending a full hearing. If the court approves of the relocation, then it will modify an existing custody order or establish the terms and conditions of a custody order if one does not already exist. The court will do a best interest of the child analysis in determining a custody schedule following the relocation.

Relocation factors

The court will consider the following factors when determining whether to approve relocation and will give additional weight to those factors which affect the safety of the child:

- the nature, quality, extent of involvement and direction of the child’s relationship with the relocating party and with the non-relocating party, siblings and other significant persons in the child’s life
- the age, developmental stage, needs of the child and likely impact of the relocation on the child’s physical, educational and emotional development, taking into consideration any special needs of the child
- the likelihood that the child will be able to maintain a relationship with the non-relocating parent, taking into consideration the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties
- the child’s preference, considering the age and maturity of the child
- whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life of the relocating party
- whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the child
- the reasons and motivation of each party for seeking or opposing relocation
- the present and past abuse committed by a party and whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or abused party
- any other factors affecting the best interest of the child

If there is an existing custody order, then the relocating party has the burden of establishing that the relocation will serve the best interest of the child. Each party has the burden of proving the integrity of their motives for proposing or objecting to the relocation.

Failure to follow the proper procedure when it comes to custody relocation can have serious consequences for you and your child. It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. Contact our Berks County custody attorneys at 610-372-5128 or submit your case using the “Ask an attorney” link.