Legal Solutions That Serve the Best Interests of Your Children
Child custody and visitation can be emotionally charged issues for many divorcing couples. Since they revolve around the children's best interests, which are sometimes interpreted differently within the same family, as well as the personal needs and wishes of parents, child custody matters often need to be resolved with the help of skilled family law attorneys.
Our lawyers work with divorcing parents (and other parents for whom child custody is an issue) in order to help them arrive at arrangements that everyone can agree on. In custody matters, we constantly remind our clients that divorce ends a marriage, but it need not sever family ties or relationships. Rather, lifelong responsibilities remain, particularly with regard to the needs of the children. In representing family law clients, our firm will encourage mutual respect and open communication in utilizing a problem-solving approach to the task at hand. To that end, we also offer services in divorce mediation and collaborative law. Contact us for help with your case.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Child Custody
How is child custody determined? In many cases, a family court judge will decide on custody arrangements for a given child. In determining how custody will be awarded and how much time that child will spend with each parent, a court will take various factors into consideration, including the age of the child, the parents' work situations and the parents' ability to provide care.
What's the difference between legal and physical custody? Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about important issues in a minor's life, such as his or her education and medical care. Physical custody refers to the right of an adult to have a child live with him or her. Both legal and physical custody can be awarded solely to one parent or jointly to both.
How do I get a modification of custody? When it is considered to be in the best interests of the child in question, a child custody modification can be granted by a Pennsylvania court; typically, there needs to have been a change in circumstance that warrants the adjustment of an existing court order. If you wish to obtain a modification of custody -- if you believe you do not have enough time with your children or if you are relocating, for example -- our attorneys can advise you on how to seek one.
When can a child make a decision about his or her own custody situation? Generally speaking, the older a child is, the more emphasis that will be given to his or her wishes regarding custody. For example, a 17-year-old's preference of custodial parent would usually be considered more seriously than that of a four-year-old.
Can I have custody living under the same roof? If you live in the same home as your spouse or former spouse, you may still be awarded sole or joint physical and/or legal custody of your child.
Contact a Westmoreland County Child Relocation Attorney
The Greensburg child custody attorneys of Stewart, McArdle, Sorice, Whalen, Farrell, Finoli & Cavanaugh, LLC, can help you understand your rights and options regarding your children. Call us at 724-610-9914 or toll free at 866-601-9627 to schedule an appointment.