Pittsburgh Child Custody Lawyer
At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to minimize the emotional and financial costs of a child custody battle. We use our strong negotiation skills to mediate a settlement that preserves your finances and protects the emotional health of parents and children. If a settlement cannot be reached, we strongly litigate the case by showing the court why the custody arrangement you seek is in the child’s best interests.
Child custody cases often involve issues of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, and mental-health problems. We are skilled at handling these issues and clearly explain to our clients their potential legal consequences on child custody matters.
Spivak Law Firm offers strong, compassionate representation in child custody matters. To schedule an appointment with an Allegheny County child custody attorney, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Types of Child Custody in Pennsylvania
There are two main types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s authority to make important decisions that affect the child on matters such as education, medical care, and religion. Legal custody is usually shared by the parents.
Physical custody, meanwhile, is a parent’s actual physical possession and control of the child. It refers to the parent with whom the child physically resides. Courts rarely award one parent with sole physical custody of the child.
Physical custody is often shared on a 50/50 or 60/40 basis. Alternatively, one parent may have primary physical custody of the child while the other has partial physical custody, which enables that parent to occasionally take possession of the child.
To discuss the custody arrangement that best fits your family’s needs, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Making Your Own Child Custody Plan
Parents often can agree on the best type of custody arrangement for their families. This spares them the stress and expense of a custody trial.
In such cases, we help by formalizing the custody arrangement into a custody order that gives each party the right to enforce the agreement if future disputes arise. A parent who is found to be in contempt of a custody order may face harsh sanctions, including jail or a transfer of custody to the other parent.
To schedule an appointment with a child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Child Custody Process in Pennsylvania
If the parents cannot agree on a custodial plan, the court will make this decision for them. The process begins with the filing of a custody complaint. Many Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny County, then require the parents to attend an educational class that explains the court process, a mediation session to resolve the issues without attorneys present, and finally a custody conciliation hearing where the attorneys try to devise a solution.
If the parents still cannot reach an agreement, the case is scheduled for a custody trial. Decisions regarding custody are taken away from the parents and given to a family law judge who will base the decision on the child’s best interests.
Factors the judge will consider in determining a child’s best interests include: parents’ work schedules; parents’ involvement with the child; parents’ living arrangements; parents’ history of substance abuse; child’s preference; and child’s special needs.
To learn more about the court process in child custody cases, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Contact Our Pittsburgh Law Firm Today
To schedule an appointment, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390. Our Pittsburgh office is open during normal business hours, as well as evenings and weekends by appointment.
Spivak Law Firm routinely accepts cases in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.