Any biological or adoptive parent can seek formal custody of his/her child when he/she and the child’s other parent are separated, divorced or if they have never been married. Child custody is broken down into 2 types, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves the parent’s right to make the important decision for the child, including but not limited to those involving the child’s health, education or religious affiliation. Physical custody is as the name implies, the actual physical presence of the child with the parent and whose control and care the child is in under at any given time. Legal custody is only either shared between both parents, with each parent having equal right to make the important decisions for the child or vested solely in one parent. Physical custody, on the other hand, has many permutations, from primary custody to partial custody to limited or supervised visitation only. In determining the level of physical custody each parent has, the court looks to a multitude of factors and no two cases are alike. Unfortunately, a majority of the most bitter and nasty disputes among parties in a family law matter occur while trying to decide the child custody issue.
Why do you need an attorney?
Obtaining the fairest custody arrangement for you and your child is usually the most important issue a divorcing parent wants to resolve. Being unrepresented in a battle for child custody with your child’s other parent can put you at significant disadvantage. Custody laws are ever changing, and the factors used by the court to determine child custody have been interpreted in a variety of ways. In order to protect your rights and ensure that you are able to be involved in your child’s life to greatest extent possible, you need an experienced Pennsylvania custody attorney to guide you through the complex and frequently contentious custody process. If you are a separated divorce or never married parent seeking custody of your child, please contact experienced Pennsylvania custody attorney Geraldine Linn, Esquire, in our Pottstown office, to discuss your options and how we can assist you.