Child Custody Lawyer

Benefits of Hiring Custody Lawyers in Lancaster, PA

Divorce, Child Custody and family law cases can be highly sensitive and volatile.  You need a Family Law Lawyer with knowledge and experience. Pennsylvania has complicated child custody laws which address the determination of child custody, visitation, child support, and many other family law issues.  Hiring Custody Lawyers in Lancaster PA can help you navigate through the process.

It is important to consult with a divorce and family attorney to get accurate information about your rights and responsibilities in a divorce, child custody, and property rights. We can help you understand and analyze your situation to make decisions in the best interest of your family.

Our family lawyers in Lancaster Pa have assisted clients with contested and uncontested divorce, custody and visitation (parenting plans), equitable distribution, alimony, prenuptial agreements, marital agreements, child support, domestic violence, relocation, enforcement, contempt, and Custody modification issues.   Contact Us today for a consultation, get the advice you need.

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Why get a Custody Order?

Custody order perform two major functions
  1. The order will divide custody between the parents. Physical Custody is how the court divides the visitation for each parent. Legal Custody means who has the right to make important decisions on behalf of the child relating to such issues as schooling, health care needs, travel, and religion.
  2. If they violate the court order, you can file a contempt petition against the other party. This could include the other party losing visitation or going to jail.

Who can file for custody?

In order to file a custody petition in Lancaster County Custody court, your child must have lived in the county for at least 6 months before the court in that county will hear your case. Until 6 months have passed, you must file in the county where the child lived before. As far as who can file for custody of a child, any parent may file, and someone who has acted as guardian for a child. A grandparent of a child may also file but only under certain exceptions.

Mediations/ Custody Conference

Custody is often settled without a judge, through mediation or custody conferences. These conferences provide an opportunity for both sides to work out a custody agreement without going to court. While these conferences can be helpful, anything you agree to is binding and will be included in the final order. This is why it’s important to have an attorney present to help you understand your rights and options, and to make sure you’re making the best decision.

Additional Child Custody Issues to Consider

Mother researching a Family Law Attorney in lancaster pa for custody of small child

Filing for Child Support

The parent who spends less time caring for a child is required to pay child support in Pennsylvania. They do this through the Domestic Relations Office. The amount of child support ordered is determined by a formula that considers various factors such as income, healthcare expenses, child care costs, and time spent with the child. 

Contact our Custody Lawyer in Lancaster Pa to walk you through the process and ensure that the Child Support Order includes an accurate and fair payment amount.

Divorce

In Pennsylvania, they often attach custody to a divorce petition. This means that parties must resolve other issues, like custody of the child or children, the amount of child and/or spousal support, and equitably dividing the marital property, before getting a divorce decree. Our family law attorney will help negotiate an agreement which can avoid the costs and delays of court appearances.


Protection From Abuse

Protection from abuse orders can complicate custody proceedings. A Protection order can require you to leave your home, limit phone contact, or stay away from certain places. A family law attorney ensures your rights and keep you free from this burden.


Emergency orders for Custody

An Emergency Petition for Custody is a request of the court to modify custody or visitation based on an extreme emergency regarding the health and safety of the child.  Any interested party may file this petition to the child’s custody.

They will only consider a petition when there is an allegation of dependency, neglect, and/or abuse.

Typically a judge makes a temporary decision immediately. The judge then schedules a court date to have a hearing for a more perminent order.

What to bring to your Free Consultation

It is important to bring the following items to your Consultation so we can completely discuss your case.  

  • previous custody orders
  • protection from abuse orders
  • Financial Records
  • Any records from Children and Youth Investigations
  • the opposing party’s address and identifying information
  • Records of child expenses including child care
Woman researching Custody lawyers in Lancaster Pa for Lancaster County Family Court Date

Child Custody Factors

In awarding child custody, Pennsylvania courts consider a number of factors that may affect the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and developmental well-being. Judges take many factors into account when determining child custody for divorcing families. The judge will try to determine a fair arrangement based on the family dynamics, health and wellness of the parents, and the parents’ relationship with the children.

Attached is the link for the 16 PA Custody Factors that are commonly considered by courts.

Custody lawyers in lancaster Pa accepting clients for Family Court in Lancaster Pa