Child Custody

Conshohocken Custody Lawyers Keep Your Child’s Best Interest at the Forefront

In a divorce, often the most difficult and emotional decisions involve determining who gets custody of the children.  At Obermayer, we realize there is nothing more important than the safety and health of your children. Our Conshohocken child custody attorneys work tirelessly to ensure the best interest of your children is obtained.

Child Custody Laws in Pennsylvania

In 2011, Pennsylvania child custody laws changed significantly and have affected how child custody disputes are being determined.  One thing that hasn’t changed though is that Pennsylvania still approaches custody decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child.  Couples separating or divorcing often don’t realize that the definition for shared physical custody has changed and the definitions for shared legal custody, primary physical custody and sole physical custody are new, among other definitions. 

Determining a Custody Schedule

How do you determine a custody schedule for the child? First off, look at what roles both parents play with regard to the caretaking and development of the child. The courts would call that the status quo. Is one parent more involved in the daily rearing of the child while the other parent is at work or are both parents at work? At night are both parents equally involved with the childrearing functions and tasks or is one parent always putting the child to bed? One of the most significant sociological changes over the last 20 years has been the increased involvement by fathers in the raising and rearing of their children. What once used to be a predominantly female task of raising the children, has rapidly grown to be a much more balanced and equalized task of childrearing. If that is in fact the case in your household, then upon a separation of the two parents, why would all of a sudden a schedule be designed that creates significantly more time with one parent than the other.

When it comes to devising a schedule, there is no one size fits all, as everybody has different needs and also different working schedules which will impact or affect a custodial schedule. For example, if mom is a nurse at a hospital and works second shift from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., obviously she cannot be available for the children when they come home from school and provide them dinner on the nights that she is working. Likewise, if dad does a lot of traveling away from the area, a schedule that has alternate weeks of custody for the child with dad won’t work if it is during one of dad’s travel weeks. Clearly, the message that needs to be a starting point for any custody schedule is practicality. The schedule has to be practical based upon the respective parents’ work schedules.

The second point in developing a schedule is that children take time to adjust to each parent’s household. A schedule that has the child going back and forth every other day between two different households is surely not in the child’s best interest. A child is not a ping pong ball and is not going to be able to rapidly adjust to so many changes.

The Relocation Provision

Another important change in the new custody law is that it now has a very strict relocation provision that impacts many divorced couples.  The parent who wants to move must now, in writing, notify the other parent.  There’s a very specific provision as to the information the spouse wishing to move must give. Then, the parent who is not moving has to respond. Today, in Pennsylvania a parent cannot move unless the other parent agrees or the court gives him or her permission to go.”

Contact Obermayer’s Custody Attorneys Today

Custody decisions are never considered to be final so it is very important that you get a Conshohocken attorney whose practices focused in child custody matters.