Butler Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody, whether it is following a divorce or separation, is an extremely important legal decision for parents, that could have a life-long impact on the relationship they have with their child, let alone the safety and well-being of their child. In perfect cases, parents agree to split custody 50/50, which studies show is generally best for the child assuming neither parent is abusive, has an addiction, or is otherwise a dangerous person for their child to be around. However, child custody, and visitation, are not always so simple, and a highly contested divorce may result in a legal battle for the children. No matter your situation, it is important to work with an experienced Butler child custody lawyer to ensure that your and your child’s best interest are upheld.
Seven Types of Custody
Having legal custody of a child means that that parent or other party, such as a grandparent, has the capacity to make decisions about where the child lives, how they spend their days, their healthcare, where they go to school, and all other small to large decisions about their child’s life. Legal custody can be sole or shared. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, and can include visitation time. Generally, if a parent has sole legal custody, they also have sole physical custody, but that is not always the case. In fact, there are many different types of custody and living arrangements that Pennsylvania law accommodates for. According to Pennsylvania Chapter 53 statute 5322, there are seven different types of child custody. These include:
- Sole legal custody—One party has all legal decision making capacity for their child;
- Shared legal custody—Legal custody is shared between the two parties;
- Sole physical custody—The child lives only with one parent/party;
- Primary physical custody—The child lives with one parent/party for the majority of the time;
- Partial physical custody—The child lives with this party some of the time, but less than half;
- Shared physical custody—The child splits his or her time between the two parties, roughly 50/50;
- Supervised physical custody—The child can spend time with this party but only when supervised by an adult designated by the court or agreed upon by the parties.
How Custody is Decided
When parents cannot come to an agreement on their own, through negotiations with their attorneys, or via mediation, a judge is left to decide. A judge always chooses what he or she thinks is in the child’s best interests, not the parent’s best interests. These deciding factors include, but are not limited to, the living arrangement that each parent can provide, who did the majority of the child raising to this point, emotional and physical health of each parent, child’s preference if old enough, and much more.
Contact a Butler Child Support Attorney Today
Here at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., we handle all types of child custody disputes, including high conflict divorce, grandparent child custody, and out of state custody or moves. If you are in the midst of a custody disagreement, or are going through divorce or separation, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney soon. Contact us today at 412-391-4330 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Butler child custody lawyer.