Resolving child custody matters is one of the most emotionally taxing aspects of divorce or separation for a parent. Many parents struggle with the realization that their children will not be spending every night in the same home with them. We understand how emotionally challenging it can be for you to discuss child custody and visitation matters.
Pennsylvania law recognizes two primary aspects of custody: legal and physical. A parent with legal custody has the authority to make decisions about important matters such as education, health and religion. Physical custody relates to where the child lives. In general, the law prefers shared custody arrangements to allow each parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child. That default principle, however, is not set in stone.
In Pennsylvania, we know that no two family structures are identical. When you work with us to resolve your family law problems, we will strive to learn all of the relevant details to protect the well-being of your children and your parental rights. Our detailed review will allow us to craft an effective legal strategy to obtain the outcome best suited to your goals.
We believe that finding a reasonable solution to custody and parenting time plans through skilled negotiation is often the most favorable outcome. However, if litigation is necessary, Mr. James is a staunch advocate in trial court with more than 30 years of experience zealously guarding our clients' rights.
A list of the factors that judges may consider in resolving child custody disputes includes:
The ability of each parent to protect the well-being of the child
The willingness of the parties to work together on a parenting plan
The distance between parents' residences
Access to extended family or sibling relationships
The preference of the child, subject to maturity
The potential risk to the child for abuse in each household