x November 2016 Archives | Langhorne PA Family Law Attorney Blog
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November 2016 Archives

Passports for Children

If you are contemplating travel over the holiday season, make sure you have the appropriate documents for your family. Every person, regardless of age, must have a passport to travel out of the country. Initial passport applications for children under sixteen (16) years of age must be made in person. Both parents of the child should be present. If one of the parents cannot be physically present, they may complete a parental consent form instead. This form must be notarized and a copy of the parent's ID must accompany the form. There are exceptions to the requirement of the consent of both parents including court order or proof of sole custody. Additionally, there is an application to obtain passport without the other parent on the basis of exigent circumstances and the unavailability of the other parent. You can visit the U.S. Department of State website for additional details on the requirements to obtain a passport at travel.state.gov.

Securing a mortgage after your divorce

Whether you are taking over the mortgage on your current home or buying yourself a new house, you will want to walk carefully through the mortgage application process as you divorce. To save money, you want a mortgage with the lowest costs and interest rate. There is no guarantee you'll get the mortgage you want but by planning ahead and being proactive there's a better chance you will.

Supervised Visitation

When a parent is unfit to spend time alone with their children their visits must be spent in the presence of a responsible adult - this called Supervised Visitation. Supervised visitation can be a complicated but sometimes necessary.

National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day is observed nationwide each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year it is being observed November 19th. Approximately 4,000 children were adopted on National Adoption Day last year. Almost 60,000 children have been adopted since the inception of Adoption Day. This is the 16th year a National Adoption Day has been observed. The month of November is National Adoption Month. President Clinton extended the recognition from a week to the entire month of November in 1995. The week-long celebration began in 1984 under President Ronald Reagan. Pennsylvania participates in presentation of a proclamation every year regarding National Adoption Month pledging its commitment to make sure every child has a place to call home.

Pets are Property

Many people consider their pets as members of the family and accordingly, when the family breaks up, the parties are concerned over who gets to keep the pets. While pets may be considered members of the family from the perspective of the owners, the courts in Pennsylvania deal with pets the same way as they deal with other inanimate personal property. In the event of a divorce, a count for Equitable Distribution must be raised in order to get the court involved in dividing any property. There are generally two options available when it comes to how property will be divided. First, the parties can reach an agreement on how they will divide property and submit this written agreement to the court so that in the event either parties does not comply, the disgruntled party can file for contempt and the court can assist in enforcing the agreement.

Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of parental rights and having sole or full custody are two separate matters. A sole or full custody order can still be subject to modification down the line by the other parent since they ultimately still retain their parental rights. Termination of parental rights can generally only occur in conjunction with an adoption matter. Termination of parental rights is permanent outside of the appeal period. Termination of parental rights can be voluntary or involuntary. A biological parent can consent to an adoption and voluntarily relinquish their rights. Alternatively, parental rights may be subject to involuntary termination. Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511, there are nine (9) grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights.

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