Understanding Your Options When Determining Child Custody And Parenting Time

Often one of the most contentious aspects of divorce, child custody and parenting time proceedings can be emotionally charged as parents dig in against the prospect of altering their parent-child relationship.

At Wallitsch & Iacobelli, LLP, we want to protect the relationship you have with your children through negotiations or litigation. By working closely with you, we can build a strong case that preserves your children's best interests while achieving your goals.

Being A Good Parent Offers No Guarantees During Child Custody Proceedings

Many states have adopted statutes that provide a presumption of joint custody. However, Pennsylvania is not one of them. Pennsylvania offers parents many options in forming a parenting plan. There is a push in many states to encourage parents to mediate, not litigate. Many counties in Pennsylvania require mandatory mediation before proceeding to a custody conference and eventually to a hearing.

If parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan, each county has its own procedure when going to court. It is important for parents to realize that judges are often influenced by personal biases. Judges may form their opinions based upon subjective criteria, such as whether they believe children should spend the school week in the same home and weekends in another or whether they think both parents should have equal time through a week-on, week-off schedule.

Factors that can influence a judge's ruling during child custody proceedings include:

  • Each parent's ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment
  • The physical and mental health of both parents or other household members
  • The ability of each parent to provide financially for the child
  • The level of cooperation between the parents
  • Whether the child's relationships with siblings or other family members will be affected
  • A child's preferences if he or she is mature enough

  • Any instances of abuse or domestic violence and protection from abuse orders

Because custody decisions depend so heavily on the opinion of a judge, you may opt to settle with the other parent to better control the outcome. As your attorneys, we can outline how each of the previously outlined factors will impact your case and advise you on how to proceed.

An Experienced Family Law Lawyer Protecting Your Parent-Child Relationship

You do not have to go through your divorce and child custody proceedings on your own. Call Wallitsch & Iacobelli, LLP, at our Allentown law office at 610-674-1554. You can also reach us via email by completing our online contact form.