Among family law’s most contested and emotionally charged issues is custody. In most people’s lives, their children are the most important aspect of their happiness and well-being. Our time with our children is already limited because of work hours, commutes, and other obligations, so it’s natural to want more when you don’t have full custody. You can trust our Norristown child custody lawyers to handle negotiations and legal proceedings related to child custody, and we can’t wait to work for you.
Why Choose Us?
In our opinion, Petrelli Previtera provides several clear advantages:
- A results-driven approach: We fight for the results you want, need, and deserve.
- Low-risk, low-stress approach: Our cases are resolved as quickly as possible, saving you time and stress.
- Consistent communication: We keep you up-to-date on the legal process by communicating regularly with you.
- Unparalleled dedication: We don’t dabble in everything. We focus on the one thing you need: tangible results.
Having a fast and results-oriented family law attorney is important for many reasons. Cost-effectiveness is one of its advantages. In most cases, the faster the process goes, the less expensive the case will be. This is especially true if you are trying to avoid litigation. Furthermore, we have found that the longer a child custody case takes, the more damage it can cause.
Types of Custody in Norristown
As in all divorces and family law matters, it is beneficial for you if you and your spouse can agree on custody arrangements. It is possible to negotiate or mediate through conflicts and come to terms that everyone agrees to even if you encounter some roadblocks. These terms will be outlined in a legal contract called a child custody agreement, to which both parents will be bound. In the event you cannot reach an amicable agreement, the court will have to step in and make the final decision for you.
In Norristown, there are two types of custody:
A parent who has sole custody of their child is responsible for the physical and legal upbringing of the child. Consequently, one parent is solely responsible for making key decisions about the child’s upbringing, including medical care, education, and religion instruction. Visitation rights are granted to the other parent, but he or she usually does not have any decision-making authority over the child.
Joint custody means that the parents share decision-making responsibilities for the child. Additionally, they are equally responsible for the child’s physical well-being. Having joint custody does not necessarily mean that both parents will get equal time with their children. The term simply means that both parents have regular and substantial contact.
Norristown Custody Factors
Children’s best interests are the guiding principle for Norristown family court judges in determining child custody matters. Among the factors weighed by the court are:
- Child preference (with older children being given more weight).
- The parent who can keep the child the safest.
- The willingness of each parent to foster a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent.
- The history of abuse by any party towards the other parent or child.
- Stabilizing and continung the child’s education, family, and extracurricular activities.
- Which parent has been the primary caregiver.
These factors are considered by the court when determining the child’s best custody arrangement. When parents can reach an agreement without going to court, these factors are helpful guidelines for creating a parenting plan.
Relocation & Custody
In the event you have sole custody of a child, you do not have the right to relocate them. It is your responsibility to inform the non-custodial parent before relocation. If the non-custodial parent consents to the move, he or she may work with you to establish a new visitation schedule. If the non-custodial parent does not want the child relocated, they can tell the judge in family court. Consult with a Norristown child custody attorney before moving away with your child, regardless of how custody was arranged.
Common Questions about Child Custody in Norristown
Having handled custody cases in Norristown, PA for decades, our award-winning attorneys have decades of combined experience. Here are some frequently asked questions about the child custody process to keep you informed.
Can I change my existing child custody order?
When you or your coparent’s life has changed significantly, your custody order may need to be modified in court if it no longer meets the needs of you or your children. If you are interested in changing your custody order, we can help you determine the next steps, if you qualify for a modification, and walk you through the legal process.
Can a child choose in a Norristown custody case?
The preference of a child to live with one parent may be considered, depending on the child’s age. As the child approaches 18 years old, the court will give more weight to the child’s wishes. Courts will examine closely the reasons behind the child’s preference to live with the other parent.
How does the law determine an unfit parent?
If a parent has a proven record of abuse as shown in police reports, medical reports, or Bucks County Child Welfare reports, this can render the parent unfit. As well as losing custody, restraining orders may prevent them from contacting their children or co-parents.
Can a custodial parent refuse visitation in Norristown?
Unless visitation is deemed not to be in the child’s best interests, a noncustodial parent has the right to visit and spend time with their child. Without court approval, it is illegal to deny visitation rights. It is possible to be held in contempt of court if you violate this code.
Bringing Clarity Out of Chaos: That’s Our Commitment at Petrelli Previtera
It can be devastating to think about giving up time with your children, and the Norristown child custody lawyers with Petrelli Previtera understand this. In the midst of chaos, you can trust our compassionate and experienced Pennsylvania family law firm to bring clarity. From deciding how to approach custody in a divorce to protecting your parental rights to pursuing a post-divorce modification, we can provide you with the counsel and advocacy you need. If you have any questions regarding custody, call us at (267) 938-4480.