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Children are wonderful. But, they are also a great obligation on their parents, married or not. An obligations some parents are not willing to fulfill. Until a child is 18 years of age, parents are responsible for their child's welfare and support. Some parents willingly and thankfully accept this great task. Too often, parents leave the task for others.
When parents split up, disputes over the children always happen. Child custody battles are never pleasant. Each parent believes that he or she is the best parent and it is best for the children to be with him or her. The nicest parents will turn evil, making outrageous allegations against each other, many times driven by money but not the best interests of the child.
A parent will sometimes attempt to turn a child against the other parent or use the child as a means of revenge against the other parent. Never a good plan. Children will tell the truth. A child's desire is one of the factor the Court considers in deciding custody issues.
Every parent has custodial rights. Some parents, including grandparents, may have greater rights than others because of past behavior, criminal background, drug and alcohol use or general misbehavior. However, in Pennsylvania, the Court's focus is on the best interests of the child.
“Best interests” is an abstract term, with no exact definition, which differs from case to case, parent to parent and child to child. Our legislature has set forth multiple factors, which the court must address in determining custody issues. No issue is too small or unimportant for the court to consider.
Focusing on his client's needs, Mr. Vogin will use his skills as a litigator and negotiator to reach agreements which are in the best interests of the child or children. When agreements cannot be reached, which is often, Mr. Vogin is the aggressive litigator, fully prepared to present his client's interests and needs to the court.
Examples of Mr. Vogin's success are:
Securing primary physical custody for a father of his 13 year old daughter.
Securing legal and physical custody rights for maternal grandparents where mother and father were unfit.
Securing permission for mother and children to relocate from Philadelphia to northern New Jersey.
Precluding father, who had abused another child, from securing any custody rights to his daughter.
Having the Philadelphia Court agree that the child must be returned to the same school and mother must resume custody exchanges.
Limiting a father's custody to partial custody where father wanted primary custody.
Securing sole legal custody for a mother where father was not responsive to the children's medical and educational needs.
Reducing an out of touch father's custody to 4 hours per month where child felt abandoned by father.
Securing shared physical and legal custody for a father who previously was limited to supervised custody.
Securing sole legal and physical custody for a mother where the father failed to exercise his custodial time and was ignorant to the Court. Securing sole physical and legal custody for a parent after the other parent's commission of a violent crime.
Securing a transfer from Montgomery County to Philadelphia County where neither parent nor the children lived in Montgomery County.
Preventing a mother from relocating to Delaware. Preventing a mother from removing the children from Pennsylvania where the parties only had an informal custody agreement.
Convincing the Philadelphia Court to allow maternal grandparents, who have exercised primary custody for approximately 10 years, to remain in Maryland even though they did not strictly comply with the relocation requirements and have transportation shared between the grandparents and father.
Every parent has a duty to support their children until the age of 18 and high school graduation unless the children are emancipated at an earlier age. This duty is regardless of their economic status. A parent's job and education is only important in determining his/her earnings and earning capacity.
Throughout the years, Mr. Vogin has heard many a client complain that they are receiving too little or paying too much child support. He understands that whether you are paying or receiving child support, there is never enough money to support two households when only one household was anticipated.
Mr. Vogin, in December, 2018, obtained a significant reduction in his client's support obligation where the other parent alleged hidden income. Recently, Mr. Vogin successfully defeated a request to suspend a support obligation where the father alleged he was disabled. Mr. Vogin also defeated a request for a support increase where the mother claimed to be unemployed and required to care for her disabled husband.
Many times, custody demands are driven by the desire for support or lack thereof. With limited exception, support and custody issues do not mix in Pennsylvania. You can have no right to custody but be obligated to pay support. Or, you can have custody of the children but be unable to collect support. These problems can be solved through our help.
In Pennsylvania, child support, with limited exception, is a mechanical calculation based upon the net income and the additional needs of the child or children. Typically, with wage earners, net income is easy to calculate.
The problems arise when one parent is self-employed, is paid in cash, or has no employment — not impossible problems, just problems which require a seasoned and experienced litigator like Marc Vogin.
Additional needs of the child or children can be day care, music lessons, dance lessons, etc. The list is endless. After calculating each parent's net income, the amount of basic obligation is determined followed by each parent's share of that obligation. Additional needs are allocated based upon each parent’s share of the basic obligation.
Spousal support and alimony pendente lite are also mechanical calculations based on whether or not the parents have or do not have dependent children. The procedure for spousal support and alimony pendente lite have changed. YOu may be entitled to an increase or decrease, if you are the paying spouse.
To better assist our clients, who may not want or need an attorney for every aspect of their case, Mr. Vogin will engage in limited representations, representing a client for a specific hearing or issue or assisting in preparation of a certain document.