Child Custody

There are few issues in family law that are as sensitive and important as the custody of children.  Julie is a zealous advocate for parents and works tirelessly to ensure the best interests of the children are met when parents separate or when needed to modify an existing order.

There are two types of custody in Pennsylvania.  

Legal custody is the decision making power that is often, but not always, shared between the parties.  Examples of legal custody decisions include but are not limited to educational decisions, medical treatment and religious upbringing.

Physical custody refers to where the children will reside and when they will reside with each parent.  There are a number of different legal terms that family law attorneys utilize when discussing physical custody.

Primary physical custody refers to where one parent has the child/ren on a primary basis and is the primary parent to care for the child/children’s day to day needs (more than half of the time).

Shared physical custody refers to where the parties share equally the child/ren in their home and handle the children’s day to day needs equally.

Partial physical custody refers to where one parent has the child/ren for less than half of the time.

Sole physical custody refers to a situation where only one parent has the child/ren.

Supervised physical custody is where one parent’s custodial periods are to be supervised by a third party supervisor.

Factors in Custody:

The court has to analyze 16 factors in determining what type of custody is appropriate and what provisions in the custody order shall apply to each case.  In advocating for your custody matter, Julie will ensure that the court understands why your position is supported by the law and is in the “best interests of the children” which remains the principle in which all custody matters are measured.  

Modifications:

Due to the fact that situations change for good and bad, custody orders are modifiable and any litigant can petition to modify a custody order.  Julie will guide you through the process for whether or not to file for a petition, what to request from the court and seek as the change in your custody order.

Emergency custody matters:

Unfortunately, situations arise when a parent must seek urgent relief from the court to protect their child from the other parent whether due to safety, drugs, alcohol or other concerns.  Julie will help you determine if your case is appropriate for emergent relief from the court and how to get your case heard as quickly as possible.

Grandparent/Caregiver Custody:

Pennsylvania law gives Grandparent and Caregiver rights to a child under certain situations.  Julie has extensive experience securing both Grandparents and Caregivers custody rights and will advise you of your rights in this area of custody law.  

Relocation:

Occasionally a parent may want to seek the court’s intervention in relocating from their county/current residence.  Relocation does not apply to every move but it does apply to certain moves that affect the custody rights of the non-relocating parents.  Julie will guide you through the specific legal requirements and advocate for you in your relocation matters.