Child Custody In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has four kinds of custody: primary, partial, shared and visitation. The parent whom the child lives with majority of the time has primary physical custody. If a child spends some of their time at a parent's home it is called partial physical custody.

Visitation is the right of a parent to visit, but does not include overnights or taking the child away from the primary parent. Shared custody is when the parents alternate physical custody of the children to assure regular, frequent contact with both parents.

Do I Have To Consult The Noncustodial Parent When I Make Decisions?

Legal custody can be shared and refers to decision-making abilities in child-related matters. When making major decisions on behalf of the child, the noncustodial parent must be consulted if there is an order giving the parents shared legal custody of the child. Even if there is no custody order, the noncustodial parent should be consulted; major decisions should be made by the parents together. If the parents are unable to make a decision concerning a major issue, either parent may file a petition seeking an order from the court.

Can A Noncustodial Parent Have Access To A Child's Records?

Each parent is entitled to have access to the child's medical, dental, school and religious records. There is an exception in certain abuse cases when the child's address needs to remain private.

Is There A Relationship Between Support And Seeing Your Children

Even if a parent is not complying with a support order, if there is a custody order allowing him/her to see the child, the parent must be permitted to exercise custody of the child.

When Can You Modify A Custody Order?

A custody order is modifiable when a change in the custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. There need not be a specific change of circumstances. The parent seeking to modify the order must show why the present order is no longer in the child's best interest.

How Does It Work If The Parent With Custody Wants To Move?

The parent who wants to move with the child is required to seek approval from the court if there is a custody order on file and this would be a change to it.

If you do not have a custody order, the parent with custody should tell the other parent of the move in a reasonable time period. If the other parent does not agree, the custodial parent will have to file a complaint for custody and request to relocate. A hearing will be held to determine whether the relocation is in the child's best interest.

The court will examine the reasons for the move, how it will affect the child, reasons for the move and whether alternate custody plans could work if the move is permitted.

Contact Us

If you have a child custody issue, we invite you to call the lawyers at Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law in Uniontown and throughout Fayette County at 724-437-2799, or use our online contact form to send us an email.