Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you represent me in my child custody matter?
- What is child custody?
- Who decides the child custody arrangement?
- When should a custody agreement be reached?
- How does a court decide child custody issues?
- What is the Generations program in Allegheny County?
- What are the penalties for not following a child custody order?
Can you represent me in my child custody matter?
Yes. Spivak Law Firm represents people in child custody matters throughout Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania. We use our strong negotiation skills to create a custody arrangement that preserves your finances and protects the emotional health of you and your child. We are experienced trial lawyers skilled at resolving high-conflict cases involving parental alienation, mental health conditions, domestic violence, and substance abuse. To schedule an appointment with an experienced child custody attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
What is child custody?
Child custody refers to the legal and practical relationship between parent and child. There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is a parent’s authority to make important decisions involving the child’s health, education and religion. In Pennsylvania, legal custody is shared by both parents in most cases. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. Pennsylvania law further defines physical custody based on the number of overnights each parent spends with the minor child. To learn more about child custody, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Who decides the child custody arrangement?
In most cases, the parents establish a custody arrangement that best serves their family’s needs and schedules with the help of their attorneys. At Spivak Law Firm, we have helped hundreds of clients resolve their child custody matters. If the parents cannot work out a parenting arrangement, then the court will decide for them based on what it believes is in the child’s best interests after a trial. The formal legal process begins with the filing of a Custody Complaint. The court may order home studies and psychological evaluations. For help creating a child custody plan, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
When should a custody agreement be reached?
It is best to have a written custody arrangement in place either before or immediately after the parents separate. If delayed, the parents may be stuck with a court order that severely restricts their ability to see their kids for a year or more. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
How does a court decide child custody issues?
The court decides custody issues by determining what is in the child’s best interests. In making this decision, the court considers many factors, such as: the age and health of the children; the relationships of the children with siblings and extended family members; the wishes of the children; the parents’ work schedules and living arrangements; the parents’ daily involvement with the children; the parents’ ability to communicate and cooperate regarding the children; and the history of domestic violence, if any. To have an experienced child custody attorney review your case, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
What is the Generations program in Allegheny County?
Generations is a three-step program in Allegheny County that aims to resolve custody disputes without the emotional and financial costs of a custody trial. First, the program requires parents to attend an educational session on the court process. Then the parents are required to attend mediation to resolve any custody disputes. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the spouses meet with their attorneys present in a custody conciliation for a last-chance attempt to resolve custody matters before going to trial. To learn more about Generations or similar programs in other Pennsylvania counties, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
What are the penalties for not following a child custody order?
A parent who fails to comply with a child custody order may be held in civil contempt. A court can: award make-up days or time for missed periods of custody; impose attorney fees; and even transfer custody to the non-custodial parent. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Contact Our Pittsburgh Law Firm Today
Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390. Our Pittsburgh office is office is open during normal business hours, as well as evenings and weekends by appointment.
Spivak Law Firm represents clients in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County and Westmoreland County. We accept cases in Armstrong County, Clarion County, Crawford County, Fayette County, Greene County, Indiana County, Lawrence County, Mercer County, Somerset County and Venango County.