Ambler Child Custody Lawyer
Compassionate Family Lawyers Represent Ambler, PA Clients in Child Custody Cases
Child custody is often the most contentious aspect of any divorce. Even after your marriage is ended by the court’s divorce decree, child custody can continue to be a point of significant dispute between you and your now-ex for years. It is in your children’s best interest for you to reach a mutual agreement with your spouse on child custody issues as soon as possible. This prevents and minimizes disruption to your children’s lives. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach agreement on child custody, the courts in Ambler, PA will make those determinations for you, with your children’s best interests as the primary consideration.
If you must litigate child custody, the experienced child custody attorneys of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford will fight to protect you and your children’s interests during the custody determination process. We can help you understand your rights and your options for asserting those rights. Our first goal is to negotiate with your spouse to achieve an agreement and avoid the court’s involvement. Whether we are negotiating an amicable settlement with your spouse or litigating a custody determination in court, we spend as much time as possible to get to know you and your situation so that we have all the information available to make the best argument for your preferred custody arrangement.
Child Custody Laws in Ambler
Child custody involves determining the parents’ rights to physical and legal custody of their children. Physical custody means the physical presence of the child with a parent, while legal custody means a parent’s right to make decisions about the child’s life, such as education, medical treatment, or religious upbringing. As stated above, Pennsylvania courts always make custody determinations with the primary focus being what is in the child’s best interest.
The court may order various kinds of custody arrangements for physical or legal custody. Some custody arrangements include:
- Sole custody: Sole custody is awarded very rarely and means that only one parent has physical custody or has the sole right to make all decisions regarding the child’s life, while the other parent has no right to spend time with the child or be involved in any decisions regarding the child’s life.
- Joint custody: Joint custody is often awarded and is a shared custody arrangement under which both parents have substantial physical and/or legal custody rights. Joint custody does not need to be an equal split — for physical custody, one parent may have more parenting time than the other, while for legal custody, most arrangements require agreement between the parents before any decision can be made.
- Primary custody: The court may designate one parent the parent of primary physical custody, which can be relevant for tax or child support purposes.
- Partial physical custody: If the court does not award both parents shared parenting time under a physical custody arrangement, it may award one parent partial physical custody, which allows that parent to spend certain specific time with a child (i.e., every other weekend, Christmas, etc.)
- Visitation: A visitation is a form of parenting time in which a parent is allowed to spend time with the child but may not remove the child from the physical custody of the other parent. If the court is concerned about a parent’s fitness or the child’s safety, it may order that visitation be supervised by a court-appointed family member or neutral third-party.
Passionate Custody Attorneys Help Clients Through Ambler Child Custody Cases
When the court makes a child custody determination, it does so with the best interest of the child as the overriding consideration. However, determining what a child’s “best interests” are is not always straightforward. Courts look at a number of factors, such as:
- Which parent is more likely to foster contact between the child and the other parent or other family members
- Any past or present abuse committed by either party, or whether there is a continued risk to the child and whether either party is better capable of providing a safe environment
- The parental duties performed by each party
- The need for stability in the child’s education, family, and community life
- The availability of extended family
- The child’s sibling relationships
- The child’s preferences, if the child is mature enough to make a reasoned expression of such preferences
- Any attempts by either parent to turn the child against the other parent
- Which parent is more likely to maintain a stable, nurturing relationship with the child
- Which parent is more likely to attend to the child’s physical, emotional, and educational development or the child’s special needs, if any
- The proximity of the parties’ residences
- Each party’s availability to care for the child and ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements
- The level of conflict and willingness to cooperate between the parties
- Any history of alcohol or drug abuse by either parent or a member of a parent’s household
- The mental and physical condition of either parent or a member of a parent’s household
Our child custody attorneys are dedicated to getting to know you and your situation and to ensuring that you understand the potential complications that may arise in your child custody case.
Contact Us Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Our Lawyers about Your Ambler Child Custody Case
As a parent, providing the most loving, stable, nurturing experience for your child is the most important task in your life. Our lawyers are committed to helping you protect and advocate for your child’s best interests based on your specific facts. If you find yourself unable to reach an agreement on a child custody arrangement or need legal advice on how to best protect you and your children’s rights, contact the Ambler, PA child custody lawyers of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford today for a free confidential consultation. You can reach us by phone or by sending us a message through our “Contact Us” webpage; we promptly respond to all inquiries.
Frequently Asked Questions about Child Custody in Ambler, PA
Shared custody means that each parent gets to spend significant time with their child. However, shared custody is very flexible in terms of schedule arrangements. Some parents may adopt a week-on/week-off arrangement, a weekday/weekend arrangement, or may even adopt a school year/school break arrangement. In most shared custody arrangements, parents share both physical custody and legal custody. Thus, shared custody usually requires that the parents have an amicable relationship to make joint decisions for their children and handle the changes and emergencies that arise in every child’s life.
Child custody is almost never a “set-it-and-forget-it” matter. Your life, your child’s parent’s life, and your child’s life will change over time, which may require you to change your custody arrangement. Moreover, if your custody arrangement is not set in a court order, your recourse is limited if your child’s other parent decides to deviate from your informal custody agreement.