Criminal & Civil Litigation
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Unfortunately, the custody process can be draining on our clients, the opposing party, as well as the minor children. Generally, the children benefit substantially if the parents can set their harsh feelings aside and encourage open communication with one another when discussing custody matters.
In determining custody in Pennsylvania, the focus is on what is in the best interest of the child. A party can file a custody complaint in family court to initiate court proceedings. Generally, the parties are required to attend a parenting class or educational seminar as well as mediation before attending the scheduled custody conciliation before a Master. Attending a custody conciliation may not be required if the parties are able to reach an amicable agreement beforehand. We encourage our clients to reach an agreement where possible because it allows our clients to have some control over the outcome of the custody of his or her child.
A custody order entered by the court is enforceable under law.
For most of our clients, the decision to obtain a divorce usually comes with a heavy heart. This process can often be difficult on our clients, the opposing party, and their children. It is important to find an attorney who you feel comfortable with to guide you through the legal system during this difficult time.
Depending on the circumstances, a divorce in Pennsylvania may take anywhere from approximately ninety days to over two years. Many times, the court plays a necessary role in the equitable distribution process of a divorce by dividing the parties’ marital property when an amicable arrangement called a Property Settlement Agreement cannot be reached.
It is important to be as prepared as possible when initiating divorce proceedings. We recommend to bring all available financial documents pertaining to your marital assets and marital debts to your free consultation.
Pennsylvania, like many other jurisdictions, has standardized guidelines pursuant to statute to determine the amount of spousal and child support that should be awarded by the court in a particular case.
Once a support order is entered, a party may petition the court to modify or terminate the support order when there are material and substantial changes in circumstances to include changes in employment and/or emancipation of a child. Voluntarily quitting a job, being fired for cause, or accepting a lower paying position will not have an effect on a support order.
Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to receive support for both you and your children.