Cumberland County Child Custody Attorney

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee has been working this year to improve how the local courts handle child custody matters. Justice Max Baer explained that children often become victims as their parents become “entangled in conflicts.” The new method involves a parenting coordinator that mediates these conflicts to reach compromises that result from discussions that are not confrontational.

Types of Custody Awards

  • Shared physical custody: Both parties may have the child reside with them for periods
  • Primary physical custody: The child resides with one party for the majority of the time
  • Partial physical custody: One party has physical custody of the child less than half of the time
  • Sole physical custody: The child exclusively resides with one party
  • Supervised physical custody: A third-party will monitor (supervise) the child during periods of physical custody with a party
  • Shared legal custody: Both parties have responsibility for decision making on behalf of the child (education, medical, etc.)
  • Sole legal custody: One party is exclusively responsible for making major decisions on behalf of the child
  • Interim awards: Courts may implement temporary awards that relate to child custody, such as while the court proceedings are still underway

Standing for Any Form of Physical or Legal Custody (§5324)

Various individuals may potentially be awarded legal or physical custody of a child. It may include a parent, grandparent or someone acting in loco parentis to a child, meaning someone “standing in” as a parent. It may be a party that has some existing relationship with the child. This party must be willing to assume this responsibility and demonstrate a sincere interest in the child's well-being. Courts may seek to impose custody changes when the safety of the child is at risk.

Factors Considered When Awarding Custody (§5328)

When the court makes custody awards, their primary focus is what they feel is in the child's best interest. They will assess any safety concerns associated with either party or their household environment. Any history of abuse or concerns regarding drugs or alcohol is considered. The court will assess the ability of the parties to provide stability for the child in school and the community.

The court may consider where any siblings reside and assess whether the parties can provide childcare. The court prefers to award custody to parties that support continual contact with the other parent or guardian and members of the extended family. The court may consider awarding some type of custody to grandparents if in the best interest of the child. They may consider any prior relationship a party has with the child. They may contemplate how any potential custody arrangement may impact any parent-child relationships.

Consideration of Criminal Convictions (§5329)

The court may consider any criminal history that exists among the parties. Past convictions for crimes involving children are a major concern for the court. These may include offenses such as child endangerment, luring a child into a vehicle or any sexual assault or abuse. Criminal activity that suggests the child's safety may be at risk is closely considered. Examples include crimes involving violence, drugs or alcohol, prostitution, and more.

Lawyer for Child Custody Cases in Pennsylvania

Legal proceedings that relate to child custody, visitation, and other matters in the realm of family law can result in uncertainty and confusion. It is critical to retain the services of an experienced local attorney. Joseph D. Lento understands the difficulties associated with these cases and can be reached at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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