Custody is one of the most challenging and important issues to resolve in a family law case. In Pennsylvania, there are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines which parent will have the right to have the child reside with them. Legal custody determines which parent will have the right to make major decisions involving the care, welfare, and health of the child. Physical custody can be shared between both parents or granted solely to one parent. Similarly, legal custody can be held jointly by both parents or assigned solely to one parent.
The family law attorneys at Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote have extensive experience handling child custody disputes both in and outside of the court process. Our lawyers appreciate the sensitive nature of these types of cases and represent mothers and fathers in a full range of custody matters, including:
- Grandparents’ rights
- Legal custody
- Physical custody
- Relocation issues
- Same-sex issues
- Third-party cases
Whenever possible, we work with our clients to resolve custody disputes outside of the litigation process. We know that custody arrangements reached through negotiation or mediation generally offer more flexibility and tend to allow the parents to remain focused on the best interests of their children. However, we recognize that there are times when a fair and amicable agreement may not achievable without judicial intervention. In these situations, our attorneys work to protect our clients’ interests throughout all phases of the litigation process.
In Pennsylvania, each county has its own prerequisites that must be met in order to get a custody case before a judge. The attorneys in our Family Law Group have a comprehensive understanding of what the courts require and carefully guide clients through each step of the judicial process. We also frequently handle custody cases involving relocation issues such as where one parent needs to relocate out of the county or state after a custody arrangement has been finalized. In these complex cases, our objective is to help our clients reach a fair arrangement that works best for the client and their children.