Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

Pennsylvania Child Custody: The Basics

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Your Beaver County child custody lawyers bring you some basic information about PA child custody: 

When people think of custody, they usually think of the child living with them. In reality, there are two major different types of custody. In Pittsburgh child custody matters, a court will award both physical and legal custody. Physical custody can be exercised primarily by one parent, or be shared between both parents. Custody is assigned using the standard of the best interest of the child. Here is an explanation of the two:

Physical custody means the actual physical control of the child. This form of custody is what most people think of when they think about the award of custody. When exercising physical custody, your child lives with you, and you are responsible for transporting, feeding, and doing other things that you would do with your child in your home. Shared custody is when custody is scheduled to ensure that the child has continuing contact with both parents. This will be scheduled in such a way to ensure that both parents have meaningful access to the child and maintain the parent child relationship. A court may order either one.

Legal custody is a distinct type of custody that is separated from physical custody. Legal custody, if it is shared, gives both parties the ability to make decisions for their child, such as about school, extracurricular activities, and medical decisions. The award of legal custody allows the parent who is not with the child physically a majority of the time (the non-custodial parent) to maintain the ability to play a role in the progression of the life of their child. This is an important tool, and it is important to actively pursue both when going to court.

Pursuing both physical and legal custody in your PA child custody dispute will allow you to maintain a relationship with your children. Contact our PA child custody lawyers to speak with our informed and experienced child custody attorneys today!

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