Our Pittsburgh Child Custody Lawyers will Fight for Your Children's Best Interests
Child custody cases are often the most difficult and emotionally charged aspect of family law cases. If you are contemplating the end of a relationship that involves minor children or you need to establish or modify a child custody order or informal arrangement, you need an experienced Pennsylvania child custody attorney. Our Western PA and Allegheny County child custody lawyers have represented over 500 parents who fought for a custody order that was best for their children. There are many different types of schedules under PA custody laws, let our attorneys fight for the schedule that is in the best interests of your minor children.
PA Physical Custody Laws
Physical custody is the actual physical possession and control of a minor child. Pennsylvania statutes further define physical custody based upon the amount of overnights each parent or third party spends with the minor children. There are different types of physical custody, including:
- Sole physical custody. Sole custody is the award of custody rights to one parent with no custody rights to the other parent. Sole physical custody is rarely awarded by the Pennsylvania family court judges.
- Primary physical custody. Primary custody is the right of one parent to have the majority of custodial time with a minor child or minor children.
- Partial physical custody. Partial custody is the right to take possession of a minor child or minor children away from the custodial parent and may include the right to have overnight custody with the child or children.
- Shared physical custody. Shared physical custody (sometimes referred to as joint physical custody) is the term used to designate frequent and continuing contact between the minor child or children and his or her parents. This term is utilized most frequently by the Pennsylvania family courts when the actual custody time is split anywhere from 60/40 to 50/50 arrangements.
- Visitation. Visitation is the right to spend time with a minor child or minor children, but not the right to remove the child or children from the custodial parent's presence or control.
Pennsylvania Legal Custody Issues
In Pennsylvania, legal custody is the right to make important decisions that impact children including decisions regarding education, religion and medical care. If parents are able to cooperate in any minimal fashion, legal custody is often shared between the parents. Under a shared legal custody arrangement, whereas the parent who has physical custody on a given day makes routine day-to-day decisions impacting a minor child, the parents share the responsibility for making major decisions.
Our Experienced Pittsburgh Child Custody Attorneys
There's many reasons why we're different from other Allegheny County child custody law firms. Our Pennsylvania custody attorneys have litigated many child custody trials and have settled many more child custody cases by agreement of the parties and without the necessity of a formal custody trial. In fact, our founding lawyer, Attorney Lisa Marie Vari has focused her attention primarily in the area of PA child custody law for the past fifteen years. Our PA child custody lawyers understand how Pennsylvania courts determine custody. We believe that our lawyers' effort to fairly and objectively analyze custody cases in the early stages of litigation is one of the keys to the results our law firm has obtained for our Pennsylvania custody clients.
When necessary, our Pittsburgh child custody lawyers will employ the use of independently retained child psychologists to assist in the preparation of a custody case and, if appropriate, to provide a critique of written report or testimony of any court-appointed child psychologist. One of our associate attorneys, Jill Schiffman-Rosenthal, has a graduate degree in psychology, studied under one of the leading Western Pennsylvania child custody psychological evaluators, and is an excellent source of information to custody clients about the process of psychological evaluations in child custody cases.
Contact our Western PA Child Custody Lawyers Today!
Email our Pittsburgh child custody attorneys to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our experienced Western PA and Allegheny County child custody lawyers to learn how we can help you obtain what's in your child's best interests or call us today at our Pittsburgh office at 412-281-9906, New Castle office at 724-436-5500, Hermitage office at 724-300-1717 or toll free at 1-855-LISA-VARI (855-547-2827). Our Pittsburgh office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and evenings by appointment. Our Cranberry Township, New Castle and Hermitage offices are open by appointment only.
Appointments are also available in Robinson Township, Mt. Lebanon (near South Hills Village Mall) and Pleasant Hills (near Century III Mall). Ask the secretary scheduling your appointment for details including appointment locations.
Our PA custody lawyers routinely accepts Allegheny County child custody cases, Beaver County child custody, Butler County child custody, Lawrence County child custody, Mercer County child custody, Washington County child custody, and Westmoreland County child custody cases.
Our PA child custody lawyers accept custody cases in other Western PA counties such as Armstrong County, Erie County, Fayette County, Greene County, Somerset County and Venango County on a case-by-case basis.
Click the following link to learn more about Pennsylvania child custody laws.