Montgomery County Physical Child Custody Lawyers
Pennsylvania Physical Child Custody Law
Going through a divorce can be a very stressful event in someone’s life, and if there are children involved, the proceedings can become even more complex. It is always important for parents to take into consideration how the decisions and actions they make during the divorce proceedings will affect their child. In order to assure the wellbeing and best interest of the child are upheld, courts will sometimes need to make tough decisions regarding custody.
Handling a child custody case by yourself is never wise. Having an experienced Montgomery County family law lawyer who has dealt with numerous child custody cases before, like those at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. will help you deal with the difficulties that may arise when trying to draft a child custody agreement between you and your former spouse.
What is Physical Child Custody?
The state of Pennsylvania recognizes both legal child custody and physical child custody. Although these two forms of custody are related, it is important for parents to understand what is meant by them both. If awarded legal child custody, this means that either one parent or both are responsible for making important decisions regarding the health, schooling, and raising of the child.
Physical child custody deals primarily with the "physical" residence of the child and looks at where they are going to live, which parent will they be spending the majority of the living situation with and for how long. Typically, physical custody is awarded to one parent, also known as the custodial parent, and the child will live with that parent most of the time. Visitation will then be granted to the non-custodial parent and a schedule will be drawn up with the courts.
What Types of Physical Child Custody Exist?
Shared Physical Custody
Shared physical custody means that the child will split their time fairly even between living with both parents. This type of arrangement can be much easier if both parents live within close distance of one another so that the child can still maintain some form of routine in their daily lives. Although this gives both parents frequent time with their child, courts do not typically award shared physical custody because of the concern over what affects this constant shuffling between two residences may do to the child.
Primary/Sole Physical Custody
In order to avoid these concerns over disrupting the child’s schooling or daily routines, the courts will grant primary or sole physical custody to one parent. As already stated, the parent with whom the child will be living with primarily is the custodial parent, and visitation will be set up with the non-custodial parent. In some instances, sole physical custody will be awarded to only one parent because the other parent is found unfit due to alcohol, drugs, abuse, or an unsafe home environment.
"I was a very involved and concerned parent of three girls...Sheryl believed in me and I now have shared physical custody."
- Jim in Collegeville, PA
What Are Some Issues Involved with Physical Custody?
One issue that can arise when it comes to physical custody cases is where the custodial parent with whom the child is primarily living with creates complications that make it difficult for the non-custodial parent to have their legal visitation. In order to avoid problems, both parents need to find some way to get along for the sake of their child, or risk going back into court and explaining to the judge why the custody agreement and visitation schedule was not upheld.
Physical custody can also create an issue for the child. Especially if it is a shared physical custody arrangement, consideration needs to be given to how the child will handle being driven back and forth between both parents’ residences, along with who will be doing the transporting.
Why Is It Essential for Me to Have a Child Custody Lawyer?
When it comes to your child, you want to make sure you are doing what is best for them. Dealing with a child custody case is both stressful and emotional for both you, your former spouse, and your child. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. we have handled numerous child custody cases over the years and can provide you with the experience and legal help you will need when drafting a custody agreement that is fair for all parties involved. Don’t hesitate when it means your rights to the custody of your child, so give us a call today at (866) 290-9292.