Child custody is often among the most hotly-contested divorce-related issues. Both parents want to play a significant role in their child’s life, but if they can’t reach a custody schedule on their own, a judge will likely have to do so for them. If you’re seeking custody of your child in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the seasoned Pennsylvania child custody lawyers from Berman Voss who can help ensure your child’s best interests are protected.
Are you currently in a child custody dispute? If so, you should strongly consider hiring the competent Pennsylvania family lawyers at Berman Voss. The firm understands the delicate nature of these heartbreaking, but often necessary court proceedings and can help you effectively navigate the process in pursuit of a favorable outcome. Berman Voss takes each case seriously and pledges to dedicate all of their resources to your case.
The two types of child custody are physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with, and legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make certain life decisions on behalf of their child, such as the religion they practice, where they go to school, the medical care they may receive, and more. Parents can present the court with a custody plan of their own, or a judge can decide on child custody on their behalf. A judge has the discretion to implement 50/50 physical and legal custody, sole custody to one parent, or any variation in between.
Courts consider a variety of factors when it comes to determining a child custody arrangement in Pennsylvania, but the most important thing is the best interests of the child. To help ensure a custody arrangement best protects a child’s interests, courts will consider the following:
You should also note that the gender of the parent is irrelevant; many people think mothers are more likely to get custody, but Pennsylvania observes a gender-neutral provision when it comes to child custody.
In cases where one parent has primary physical and/or legal custody, courts will typically opt to grant the other parent visitation rights so he or she can continue to play a role in their child’s life. Visitation may be supervised or unsupervised, depending on the reason why the non-custodial parent was denied custody in the first place. In some cases, courts will even establish certain conditions that the non-custodial parent must meet before each visit, such as mandatory drug tests.
Sometimes, after a child custody arrangement is reached, life can change significantly. In some cases, such a drastic change will make it impossible to follow an initial custody agreement. If you can prove that there has been a significant, unforeseen, and continuing change in circumstances, you may qualify for a post-judgment modification, meaning the court will modify your initial custody order to better reflect your current situation. Some scenarios that may warrant a child custody modification in Pennsylvania are as follows:
These are just some scenarios that may warrant a modification to child custody, and ultimately, if you believe you or your child has undergone a significant change that requires a modification, Berman Voss is here to help.