Anyone who has dealt with the family court system knows that it doesn't always punish rule breakers as much as one would like or think they deserve.
One such example is in the area of child custody contempt. After a party violates a custody order, the other party will generally file a custody contempt petition seeking redress in the courts. An often cited reason for contempt is that one parent has withheld the child/children from the other parent in violation of the physical custody terms of the order.
However, as the law presently stands, Pennsylvania judges are unable to award make-up time to the aggrieved parent for this violation. That remedy is not specifically set forth in the custody contempt rules.
Legislators in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are hoping to change that. Members have proposed House Bill 437, which would specifically state that an award of make-up time can be a resolution of a custody contempt petition.
While the bill has some detractors, the bill's sponsors are hopeful to have it passed this year. Stay tuned for more updates.
If you are experiencing custody issues, please contact our office to consult with our experienced family law litigators.