Harleysville Child Custody Lawyers
Experienced Child Custody Attorneys Protect Children’s and Clients’ Rights in Harleysville, PA
Child custody is easily the most contentious issue that a separating or divorcing couple must resolve when they decide to part ways. Custody matters also have the greatest potential for creating a lasting impact between couples who part ways. As a result, child custody disputes are frequently referred to the courts for judicial intervention. Unfortunately, custody battles can have a destructive impact on a child’s sense of safety and stability. We understand that protecting your children is your paramount concern even when you decide to separate or divorce from your partner.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., our child custody attorneys know very well that a contentious, protracted child custody battle can have detrimental effects on children. Therefore, we strive to ensure that the child custody process is as smooth and efficient as possible. Child custody determinations are required by law to be gender-neutral, without preference for either parent, and we work to protect this right for our clients. Instead, courts prefer shared custody arrangements when such arrangements are workable for the parents and are in the best interests of the child
Factors in Reaching Successful Child Custody Arrangements for Harleysville, PA Clients
Under Pennsylvania law, the overriding concern in every child custody determination is the best interests of the child. However, that does not mean that there is a formulaic approach to every custody determination. Instead, when courts are called upon to make child custody arrangements, they look at multiple factors, including:
- Whether one parent is more likely to permit and encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
- The parental duties performed by each parent prior to separation or divorce, if applicable
- The ability to provide stability for a child’s home life, education, and community involvement
- The location and availability of extended family, if any
- The location and relationship with siblings, if any
- Any history of domestic violence or criminal activity by either parent, or attempts by one parent to turn the child against the other parent
- Whether one parent is more likely to provide more effective care for the child’s physical, emotional, and educational development
- Any special needs of the child and whether one parent is more likely to provide more effective care for those needs
- Each parent’s ability to make child care arrangements
- The parents’ ability and willingness to cooperate with one another
- Any history of drug or alcohol abuse of either parent or any member of the parent’s household
- The mental and physical condition of each parent and each member of that parent’s household
- The child’s own preferences, if the child is sufficiently mature to express a reasoned preference
Physical custody arrangements can be shared custody, where both parents split time with the children on a roughly equal basis, primary custody where one parent maintains custody for most of the time while the other parent has limited periods of custody (such as weekends or holidays), or sole custody where the other parent only has visitation rights. Ultimately, a custody arrangement can be reached solely through negotiation between the parents, through mediation where a neutral third party helps the parents reach an agreement, through negotiation between attorneys, or through direct judicial intervention where a court makes a final, binding determination.
Dedicated Child Custody Lawyers Strive to Help Clients Reach Custody Agreements in Harleysville
Both the child’s best interests and the abilities and willingness of the parents are relevant to deciding upon a child custody arrangement that best serves a child’s well-being. Although the courts are always available to make a child custody determination if necessary, the dedicated and experienced child custody attorneys of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. will strive to resolve a custody arrangement without the intervention of the courts. We take your child’s best interests into consideration through every step of the custody process and work toward creating a custody arrangement and parenting plan that is realistic, workable, and amenable to both parents.
Our legal team is also capable of helping you with other kinds of child custody matters, including:
- Enforcement of existing child custody orders
- Modification of child custody orders
- Petitions for relocation with children subject to custody arrangements
- Grandparents’ petitions for custody rights
If you are facing a child custody question and aren’t sure what to do next, our attorneys can help you understand your rights and options and guide your through the next steps.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Your Child Custody Matter with Our Harleysville Child Custody Lawyers
Every child custody matter is unique. That is why our legal team works hard to understand our client’s concerns and goals for a custody arrangement. If you are working on an initial child custody arrangement or are having issues with your existing custody arrangement, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Harleysville child custody attorney who can let you know your legal rights and options and walk you through the the custody determination, enforcement, or modification process.
Frequently Asked Questions about Child Custody in Harleysville, PA
Pennsylvania law generally requires a one-year period of separation before you can file for and finalize a divorce. Before you or your spouse moves out of the marital home, you should consider obtaining a court-ordered temporary child custody arrangement. While a temporary order will resolve the issue of custody during the pendency of your and your spouse’s divorce, it can also be an important factor for a future permanent child custody order or may impact the availability of a shared custody arrangement. Having a formal temporary custody arrangement can also avoid any conflict between you and your estranged spouse if one of you decides to move out of the marital home.
Pennsylvania law requires the consent of both parents if one parent wishes to relocate outside of or even within the state of Pennsylvania, if the relocation would require changes to an existing custody arrangement. Otherwise, the parent wishing to relocate with the child or children must obtain court approval to relocate with the child or children. If the relocating parent seeks court approval, they must provide the other parent and the court at least 60 days’ notice prior to relocation, informing the parent and the court to where the parent intends to relocate, where the child or children will attend school, the reasons for the relocation, and a proposed revised custody arrangement. You have 30 days to lodge an objection, at which point the court will hold a hearing to determine whether to approve the relocating parent’s request to relocate with the children.