Erie Child Custody Lawyer

In Pennsylvania, custody determinations are primarily made by reference to the Pennsylvania Code Title 23, chapter 53 and through the best interests of the child. The courts will look to the parents to determine the best custody arrangement for the child.

Many issues arise in custody determinations

The law will make two determinations for custody purposes: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. Legal custody gives the party the right to make important decisions that affect the child such as medical treatment, education and legal decision. Physical custody is the right to have the child in your care to take care of on a day to day basis.

There are two kinds of legal custody: sole and shared. Sole legal custody allows one party to act alone in making legal custody decisions. Shared legal custody means two or more parties agree before making decisions.

There are four kinds of physical custody. Primary physical custody gives one party the right to have the child live with them most of the time. Shared physical custody gives two people the right to have the child with them on a regular basis. Partial physical custody is the right to have unsupervised visitation with the child and can vary as to how long and how frequently. Supervised visitation is ordered only when the party is a known danger to the child. This may happen if there was abuse, for example. This visitation is supervised by a relative, a friend or by a county agency.

Usually the parties try to agree on legal and physical custody of the child. If they are unable to agree, one party may file a Complaint seeking custody.

There are many factors that the court will look at to determine who should have custody. These factors range from the obvious and the best interests of the child to very specific things that can be best explained by competent legal advice.

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