As long as my family and I have been dealing with family court, we have always felt like we got the short end of the stick. Our thoughts and feelings soon changed after we met Avram and Stacey. After speaking to them about my situation, I was reassured that they would do everything they could to help me and my family. I have always been able to communicate with to either of them and get answers to my questions and we were always welcomed with open arms. After a long fight, thanks to the hard work of Avram and Stacey, my family is together and we are happy. My case worked out for the best and we owe it to the Law Offices of Avram Rosen.

Case Notes: Incarceration and termination of parental rights

Under Pennsylvania law, a parent's rights may be terminated if the parent has "abandoned" the child and not sought contact for at least 6 months. In a recent case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that an incarcerated father should have his parental rights terminated. See In re: Z.P., 994 A.2d 1108 (Pa. Super 2010).

The Superior Court noted that incarceration alone does not warrant a termination of the imprisoned parents rights. Instead, the court must look at whether the incarcerated parent used the resources available in prison to attempt to maintain a bond with the child. The Trial Court found that father sent a birthday card and pictures of himself and made diligent efforts to locate the child.

However, the Superior Court found that the father was not able to meet the needs of the young child and would remain incarcerated for some time along. The Court also expressed concerns over father's sobriety and housing situation. Also, father had never sent any money for the child (despite receiving SSD payments) and fell into recidivism over a 9 year period. Finally, the court found that the child had no bond with father.

This case is indicative of the factually intensive nature of cases involving termination of parental rights. Such cases are typically won or lost on the individual facts of the case, rather than broad legal principles.

As always, speak to your attorney before applying this case to your circumstances. In the interest of clarity, I did not address several aspects of this opinion. Also, almost all rules have exceptions and the exceptions often have exceptions.