Philadelphia Child Custody Lawyer
Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery & Philadelphia County
If you have children at home when you are getting a divorce, you want to be assured that you will have frequent and meaningful contact with your kids after the divorce and have a say in how they will continue to be raised. Your spouse likely feels the same way. How do you make sure your rights and interests are protected and well-represented when it comes to determining child custody in your Philadelphia divorce? That’s exactly what we are here for at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane. Learn more below about Pennsylvania child custody law, and contact Philadelphia child custody lawyer Lauren H. Kane for help in a divorce or child custody dispute.
How is child custody decided in Pennsylvania?
There are many different ways the court can resolve the issue of child custody. Options include:
- Primary physical custody
- Partial physical custody
- Shared legal custody
- Shared physical custody
- Sole legal custody
- Sole physical custody
- Supervised physical custody
The best interest of the children is always the primary focus of the court in determining child custody. Shared custody is only granted when one or both parents apply for it or agree to share custody, or at the court’s discretion and in the best interest of the children. Likewise, the court may award sole custody if the judge believes such a move is in the child’s best interest.
In deciding which type of custody is in the best interest of the child, the court is required to consider “all relevant factors” and give more weight to any factors which affect the safety of the child. Specifically, the judge is required to consider:
- Which parent is more likely to encourage frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parent
- Any present or past abuse or risk of harm to the child
- The parental duties performed by each parent
- The need for stability and continuity in the child’s education, family life and community life
- The availability of extended family
- The child’s sibling relationships
- The child’s preference, taking the child’s maturity and judgment into account
- Whether one parent tried to alienate the child from the other parent
- Which parent is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child
- Which parent is more likely to see to the child’s daily needs
- The proximity of the residences of both parents
- Each parent’s availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child care arrangements
- The level of conflict between the parents and their ability to cooperate for the safety of the children
- Any history of drug or alcohol abuse by a parent or member of the parent’s household
- The mental and physical condition of the parents and members of their household
If you and your co-parent can’t agree on the custody arrangement, our Philadelphia family law attorney can represent you by focusing on the relevant factors and making sure your voice is heard and position understood by the judge. With 35 years of experience in contested divorce and child custody matters, we know how to prepare a strong, evidence-backed case that demonstrates what form of custody will be in your child’s best interest.
When is a Parenting Plan needed?
The court can require the parents to submit parenting plans in any contested custody proceeding. A parenting plan is a fairly detailed plan outlining all of the following to assist the parents in handling shared custody arrangements:
- A schedule for the personal care and control of the child, including parenting time, holidays and vacations
- The education and religious involvement, if any, of the child
- The child’s health care
- Child care arrangements
- Transportation arrangements
- A procedure for making changes or resolving disputes over the custody order
Caring, Compassionate and Effective Advocacy in Philadelphia Child Custody Matters
Our comprehensive family law practice at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane covers all aspects of a child custody dispute, including drafting parenting plans, advocating for the right form of custody, and handling post-divorce issues such as custody modification and enforcement and custody relocations. For help with a Philadelphia child custody dispute, call the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane at 215-238-9529.