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Child Custody

Parents who are going through a divorce will often be very concerned about child custody and visitation arrangements.  We provide committed legal help to parents who are going through the custody process and need assistance with these matters by taking a holistic approach that aims to take into consideration of the needs of parent and child alike.

Child custody process in Pennsylvania

The process begins with a complaint for custody being filed.  Once filed, parents and their attorneys will meet with a custody conciliator.  The custody conciliator has the responsibility to try and help the parties resolve their disputes and come to an agreement.  If an agreement is reached, the conciliator will submit it to the court for entry as an order.  If an agreement is not reached, a hearing will be held before a hearing officer or judge, depending upon the county in which you reside.  After the hearing, an order will be entered.  If your case was heard by a hearing officer and you disagree with the decision, you may request that the order be reviewed by a judge.  If your case was heard by a judge, you may have the judge’s decision reviewed by the Pennsylvania appellate courts.  This is a limited review and is not a complete rehearing of your case.

What factors are involved in deciding child custody?

The best interest of the child is the primary consideration of the court, but there are many other factors that are involved in deciding child custody arrangements.  The judge may consider who has been the primary caregiver or the relationship history between parent and child, and may also consider which parent is most likely to support a relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.  Custody is made up of two parts: legal and physical custody.  Legal custody refers to who has the right to have basic decision-making including education, religion, health care and other issues.  Physical custody refers to where the children live.  In most cases, parents share legal custody and one parent will have primary physical custody.

Other child custody issues

The Law Office of Scott A. Stein can handle other child custody issues that can arise. These issues include grandparents’ rights, paternity and modification and appeals of existing child custody orders.  Contact us today to arrange your consultation and learn how we can help you.