Monday, March 21, 2005

Pennsylvania - Bill would give 50-50 custody

Excerpts below, full article at dailyitem.com

Bill would give 50-50 custody

The rally, sponsored by Fathers’ And Children’s Equality, was meant to show support for House Bill 888 which advocates say would order that children of separated parents begin in joint custody arrangements, spending half the time with each parent.

"Pennsylvania is one of the states where in a case of separation, divorce or out-of-wedlock birth, for no rhyme or reason, there is a presumption that the child is best off with the mother," said Rep. Robert Belfanti, D-107 of Mount Carmel. Fathers are often forced to petition the court to gain more time with their children, the legislator said.

The proposed legislation would "put both parents on an equal footing," Mr. Belfanti said.

Under the proposed legislation, the parents are asked to develop a parenting plan to be approved by a judge. If the parents can’t agree on such a plan, the "guideline parenting plan" would be used: the father would get the kids the first and third week of the month; the mother would get them the second and fourth week of the month.

If one of the parents wants to petition to change the custody from 50-50 joint custody to a different arrangement, he or she can still do that, Mr. Belfanti said

Northumberland County hearing officer Michael Seward said that currently the court typically uses "shared custody" arrangements which give one parent primary custody. The criticism of joint custody is that by making them split time evenly between two homes, the children don’t have one place that they can really consider their home, he said.

Mr. Belfanti said that the change is needed because the current situation is unfair.

"If we’re going to have gender-based equal rights, then it should be across-the-board," Mr. Belfanti said, adding that he often supports legislation that is aimed to benefit women’s rights. "Let’s not compare apples and oranges," he said.

The current proposal is a revised form of legislation Belfanti initially introduced seven years ago.

Two Northumberland County judges — President Judge Robert B. Sacavage and Judge William H. Wiest — contacted by The Daily Item Thursday disputed the notion that women have an unfair advantage in custody disputes.

State Rep. Russell Fairchild, R-85 of Winfield, said he signed as a co-sponsor of the legislation because he hopes it will provide a better means of determining custody arrangements.

The movement to increase joint custody is one that has support from some mothers as well as fathers, he said. "It works both ways," Mr. Rummel said. "There are women who want the fathers in the picture to help out more."

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAKE THE CALL JUNE 6TH

On June 6th, take the time to call the below members of the House judiciary committee.

If you dont reach them, ask their office to find out their position on House Bill 888. Presumption of Joint custody.

Ask them to get it to the House floor for a Vote. Ask them to support Presumption of Shared Custody.

Take the time, make a call. These people below have the ability to make shared physical custody a presumption in pa.

Make sure you call.....PASS THIS ON, GET INVOLVED.

Hon. Dennis M. O'Brien (717) 787-5689
Hon. Glen R. Grell (717) 783-2063
Hon. Craig A. Dally (717) 783-8573
Hon. Stephen R. Maitland (717) 783-5217
Hon. Jerry Birmelin (717) 783-2037
Hon. John R. Evans (717) 772-9940
Hon. William I. Gabig (717) 772-2280
Hon. Matthew Good (717) 783-6433
Hon. Kate Harper (717) 787-2801
Hon. Tim Hennessey (717) 787-3431
Hon. Beverly Mackereth (717) 783-2655
Hon. Mark S. McNaughton (717) 787-1230
Hon. Douglas G. Reichley (717) 787-1000
Hon. Katie True (717) 705-7161
Hon. Mike Turzai (717) 772-9943
Hon. Thomas R. Caltagirone (717) 787-3525
Hon. John E. Pallone (717) 783-1819
Hon. Frank Dermody (717) 787-3566
Hon. Harold James (717) 787-9477
Hon. Kathy M. Manderino (717) 787-1254
Hon. Dan B. Frankel (717) 705-1875
Hon. Michael Gerber (717) 787-9475
Hon. Daylin Leach (717) 783-9114
Hon. Joseph A. Petrarca (717) 787-5142
Hon. Greg S. Vitali (717) 787-7647
Hon. Don Walko (717) 787-5470
Hon. LeAnna M. Washington (717) 783-2175

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF EVERYONE CALLS AND SUPPORTS THIS, EQUAL CUSTODY WILL BE AVAILABLE IN PA:

CALL THEM AND TELL THEM YOU SUPPORT EQUAL CUSTODY HOUSE BILL 888 !!!!!

Hon. Dennis M. O'Brien (717) 787-5689
Hon. Glen R. Grell (717) 783-2063
Hon. Craig A. Dally (717) 783-8573
Hon. Stephen R. Maitland (717) 783-5217
Hon. Jerry Birmelin (717) 783-2037
Hon. John R. Evans (717) 772-9940
Hon. William I. Gabig (717) 772-2280
Hon. Matthew Good (717) 783-6433
Hon. Kate Harper (717) 787-2801
Hon. Tim Hennessey (717) 787-3431
Hon. Beverly Mackereth (717) 783-2655
Hon. Mark S. McNaughton (717) 787-1230
Hon. Douglas G. Reichley (717) 787-1000
Hon. Katie True (717) 705-7161
Hon. Mike Turzai (717) 772-9943
Hon. Thomas R. Caltagirone (717) 787-3525
Hon. John E. Pallone (717) 783-1819
Hon. Frank Dermody (717) 787-3566
Hon. Harold James (717) 787-9477
Hon. Kathy M. Manderino (717) 787-1254
Hon. Dan B. Frankel (717) 705-1875
Hon. Michael Gerber (717) 787-9475
Hon. Daylin Leach (717) 783-9114
Hon. Joseph A. Petrarca (717) 787-5142
Hon. Greg S. Vitali (717) 787-7647
Hon. Don Walko (717) 787-5470
Hon. LeAnna M. Washington (717) 783-2175

8:03 PM  

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