Lebanon is a lovely, scenic city in central Pennsylvania, halfway between Harrisburg and Reading. It is home to attractions such as the Union Canal Tunnel Park and the Coleman Memorial Side.
Outside of nature, it’s a bustling city with a variety of restaurants and shops to visit. Many people believe that Lebanon is one of the best places to raise a family because of its excellent educational system and all that the city has to offer. However, if you are attempting to settle a child custody dispute, you may find it difficult to enjoy the beautiful city.
Child custody cases are stressful and life-changing, and you probably want as much information as possible on the process.
Bentley Law attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of Pennsylvania court and family law. We are a top destination for our clients who want to understand the legal process and feel confident about custody issues.
Child Custody Law in Pennsylvania
According to Pennsylvania law, if both parents can agree on a custody and visitation schedule, no court or attorney is required.
In this informal situation, however, either parent can take physical custody of a child at any time. If the parents, or one of them, do not want this option, the court can establish specific parental rights as well as a custody and visitation agreement.
While you and the other parent may believe you and the other parent can decide custody and visitation on your own, it is always a good idea to consult with a qualified child custody lawyer to ensure that there will be no legal issues down the road.
Child custody laws also differ from state to state, so always work with attorneys who are licensed to practice in the state in which you live.
How do Pennsylvania Courts Determine Child Custody Cases?
Every child custody case is decided primarily in the best interests of the child. Many factors must be considered under Pennsylvania family law, including the child’s needs and health, the parent’s ability to provide for the child, and the child’s wishes. When possible, the court will also avoid separating children.
Finally, the court will consider how capable each parent is to care for the child or children, as well as the parent’s financial situation and any legal issues. They may work with your family law attorney to develop a parenting plan once they’ve decided on custody.
If you believe it will be difficult to convince the judge that it is in the child’s best interests to be in your care, you should hire quality child custody lawyers.
What Types of Child Custody Exist?
Child custody is a broad term that encompasses two types of custody. Child custody lawyers will be the most helpful in determining what type of custody you should seek. The two types of custody are described below, along with what they may mean for your rights and responsibilities to your child.
- Physical Custody: This involves the daily caretaking of the child or children. If you have sole physical custody, then you would also be considered the child’s primary caregiver.
- Legal Custody: This involves decision-making for the child, such as important health or education decisions. If you have sole legal custody, then you may make decisions that affect the child but aren’t about where they live physically.
Even if one parent has physical custody, it is common for parents to share joint legal custody. Joint custody is more common when children are younger, but some parents choose to keep joint custody throughout their child’s life.
In some cases, one parent may not want custody, and the sole custodial parent will be in charge of all legal decisions and day-to-day care for the child.
Paternity Law in Pennsylvania
One of the first things you will be asked to do when you start working with an attorney is to take a paternity test. Most states require this, but in some cases, you may not have to be the child’s father in order to have some legal access. However, in court, a judge will consider your biological relationship to the child.
Child Support Laws
Child support is a critical legal issue in family law. According to family law, both parents must share responsibility and contribute to the child’s upbringing. If there was a divorce, determining child support costs may be easier.
Child support is calculated using a variety of factors, and a family law attorney can assist you in determining what you or the other party may be required to pay. In general, a family law attorney will consider the family law attorney can help determine what you or the other party may be required to pay. In general, the family law attorney will consider the needs of the child as well as what each party can contribute.
Modifications to Custody Agreements
According to Pennsylvania family law, there is no need for a reason to modify a custody or visitation agreement. If you believe the agreement should be changed, you can consult with a family law attorney.
Many clients want to change a custody agreement as the child grows older or if the situation changes in such a way that a change in custody is warranted.
Finding the Right Child Custody Lawyers in Lebanon County
When looking for the right family law attorney, you want to find someone you can trust—not just for yourself, but also for your children.
Bentley Law is concerned about the entire family of our clients. We provide a free consultation to learn about the child custody process and related practice areas such as divorce. Speaking with a trained child custody attorney can help answer your questions and help you decide whether or not to hire a lawyer.
Speak with an Experienced Lawyer Today
Call us today or fill out this contact form to speak with a family lawyer in our Lebanon office. Allow our qualified professionals to assist you and your family.