Child Custody, Visitation & Relocation

Mother’s Unsupervised Visitation is in the Minor Six Year Old Child’s Best Interest-A Child Needs Both Parents

In the child custody and visitation case of Praino v. Posa, Case No. 14-0844, (C.P. Monroe, May 8, 2014), the Honorable David J. Williamson approved a divorced mother’s request to allow her unsupervised visitation and more frequent periods of partial custody of her six year old child.

Subsequent to an acrimonious divorce, father of the minor child was granted primary physical custody subject to periods of supervised physical custody by mother, due to mother’s history of making derogatory comments about father to the child, and alleging sexual abuse of the child by father, despite the determination of such allegations by Children and Youth Services as unfounded. Parents’ history and current testimony indicated that they would likely be unable to communicate or be supportive of one another despite the needs of the child.

The court noted that at this point in her life, the child required stability and continuity in her education, family life and community life. The court ruled that father had been doing a good job of carrying out the daily parental duties in caring for the child, a factor which weighed in favor of father. It determined that mother was less likely to meet the child’s needs as shown by her sporadic and inconsistent work history, change of residences, time spent living in her car, and her continued behavior of questioning father’s actions through the child. Moreover, mother did not appear to have the resources to support herself and the child without assistance from others, and the court was not convinced by her testimony that she signed an agreement to buy a house in the same school district in which father resided.

Even in light of these findings, the court realized that at six years of age, the child needed both parents in her life, and wanted to spend more time with mother. On the recommendations of the court-ordered psychologist, the court recognized that more time spent with both parents on a consistent basis would benefit the child.

Reference: Digest of Recent Opinions, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 37 PLW 520, June 3, 2014

Filed Under: Child Custody; Visitation Rights; Supervised Physical Custody and Visitation

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