Changing And Challenging Child Custody Laws In Ny And Pa

01.10.11 | Bob Price, Sarah Harnisch

  A reworked child custody law is about to take effect in Pennsylvania that will affect families going through divorce. The new state law goes into effect this month; it's been 10 years in the making. Senate Judiciary Chairman Stewart Greenleaf said parents continue to do battle years after a divorce and the child is scarred because of it. Judges will now be required to state on record their reasons for making decisions in divorce cases, which will help parents understand what the judge is thinking. The law states neither the father or the mother would "automatically" be assumed the fit parent. It gives fathers an edge in court. That law already existed, but was written with stronger language. And custodial parents who want to move away will have to give the other parent a chance to object beforehand.

   It's interesting that the law was just re-written in Pennsylvania-- because the same argument-- over poor child custody laws-- is going on in New York.
    Civil Rights Advocate and Attorney Leon Koziol has filed an action in federal court against New York's Unified Court System-- and several defendants. The lawsuit is a test case to see if higher courts will agree that the state's current child custodial laws violate a number of the parent's rights. Koziol (co-zee-uhl) tells our news partner, YNN - New York's divorce courts should encourage parents to work out custody issues on their own.