Child Custody and Grandparent Rights

Child custody cases can be challenging for every family member involved. This can be an emotional time for the parents, grandparents, extended family members and especially children.

If you are ending a relationship where children are involved or you want to create or modify a custody order, you’ll need a Pennsylvania family law attorney who can guide you through the process. The lawyers at Korey Leslie Attorney-at-Law have helped numerous parents fight for custody orders that had the best interest of the child in mind.

Protecting your rights in a custody decision

The term “best interest of the child” is the legal standard used in child custody and family law cases. That’s because who decides the best interest of the child might not be you or even your spouse. It’s the judge who decides what’s best for your child in a Pennsylvania custody case.

In many child custody cases, the decision will be made based on Pennsylvania’s child custody statue.

This examines, but is not limited to, the following:

  • a child’s preference for where to live;
  • which parent is more likely to encourage or help arrange an ongoing relationship with the other parent;
  • any presence of abuse or past abuse;
  • and which parent is most likely to attend to the child’s emotional, physical, educational and special needs.

Pennsylvania’s physical and legal custody laws

The two components of child custody laws in Pennsylvania are: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines where the child lives. Legal custody gives power to someone who can make decisions on the child.

There are two types of legal custody: sole and shared. When one parent has sole custody, he or she can make the major decisions regarding the child's care. If legal custody is shared, the two parents must consult one another.

The types of physical custody are:

Sole physical custody: Sole physical custody means one parent has the custody rights of the child or children while the other parent does not. Most judges prefer to see both parents involved in a child’s life, so it is rare that a parent is awarded sole physical custody.

Primary physical custody: One parent, known as the custodial parent, has primary custody over the child. The non-custodial parent can still have many rights in this case, even without scheduled, court-ordered time.

Shared physical custody: Known more commonly as “joint custody,” shared physical custody means the parents have agreed to split equally their time with the child to maximize the amount of time spent with each parent.

Partial physical custody: This gives the non-custodial parent custody based on a schedule.

Supervised visitation: This gives the non-custodial parent the right to visit and spend time with the child and may be supervised or unsupervised.

Grandparents’ rights

Grandparents play an important role in the upbringing of a child, and these key role models in a child’s life are often left out during a custody dispute. Our experienced grandparents’ rights attorneys understand how important it can be for grandparents to be involved in the life of their grandchildren. We can help you understand child custody laws and fight for your rights for partial custody or visitation in cases where:

  • a parent of the grandchild is deceased;
  • when the parents go through divorce or separation;
  • or if the child lived with the grandparent and the grandparent would like to fight for legal custody.

Hire a family law attorney who understands child custody laws

The attorneys at Korey Leslie Attorney-at-Law understand the emotional struggle you or your family might be going through because of a child custody or grandparents’ rights case. Let the experience of a York, Pa., family law attorney guide you through the process. Call today to set up your free initial consultation to learn how we can help.