Under ideal circumstances, parents in Pennsylvania would agree on everything when it comes to the custody of their children. However, if you and the other parent are like so many others, you may find yourself at odds over with whom the children should live and how much visitation and support are in order for their well-being.
Rather than attempting to settle these issues on your own, you need to hire an experienced attorney to represent your best interests and that of your children. With the help of a skilled Lackawana child custody attorney, you can reach favorable resolutions from the court by which you and the other parent must abide until your children reach the age of 18.
Out of all of the issues that Pennsylvania parents face, child custody is among the most contentious. You and your children's other parent may disagree with whom the children should live. You both may argue that the other's household is not stable or secure enough.
To put the matter to rest formally, your attorney can argue on your behalf, by presenting evidence for why it is in your children's best interests that you have rights to custody and visitation. The court can look at all the relevant factors in your case to determine what parenting plan will be best for your children.
Additionally, if you and your children's other parent do not want to get into a continuous court battle, you can opt to go through mediation. Through this, you and your ex will be able to speak to a neutral third party that will help you both find a favorable resolution that puts your children's needs first.
Another contentious matter that often must be resolved through family court involves the question of child support. The parent who maintains primary custody must be paid child support from the other parent.
It can be easy for the non-custodial parent to argue that he or she should not pay support since the children do not live with him or her. However, under Pennsylvania state law, both parents are equally obligated to provide financial support for their children, regardless of with whom they live.
Your attorney can ask the judge to determine a fair child support amount based on factors like how much that you and the other parent earn and the amount of time that the children spend with both. The support payments can be made directly through the court and then distributed from the court to the custodial parent's bank account. This arrangement keeps things neutral between both parties.
If the support order ends up being not realistic or sustainable, it can be challenged in court anytime before the children turn 18. Your attorney can represent your interests as the custodial parent, as well as the financial well-being of your children in court to ensure that they are paid a reasonable support amount.
You and the other parent must also come to an agreement about the visitation of your children. Children under the age of 14 typically are subject to a court order when it comes to visitation. They cannot opt-out of visiting the non-custodial parent until they reach an age where they can provide rational explanations to the court for why they do or do not want to visit the other parent. However, the court does not have to abide by their wishes if they believe it is not in the best interests of the children.
Your attorney can help make sure that any visitation order is for the safety and best interests of your children. He or she will also ensure that it takes into consideration your schedule and the location of where the non-custodial parent lives.
Child custody in Pennsylvania can be fraught with issues that are challenging and difficult to solve. Your best solution is to hire an experienced attorney to represent you in these matters. Hire a skilled lawyer from O'Malley Law Office to help you with any legal child custody issues that you encounter.
Call our Lackawanna County child custody lawyers today at (570) 391-0866.