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Child Custody

Seasoned Family Law Attorney Resolves Child Custody Disputes in Easton, PA

Meticulous attention to detail yields favorable outcomes

Nothing is more important than your loving relationship with your child. If you are going through a divorce, your future access to your children could be in doubt. To have the best chance at a fair child custody order, you need advice and representation from a proven family law attorney. Richard J. Shiroff has represented parents in custody disputes for more than 35 years. If the other parent is willing to be reasonable, I can help you negotiate or mediate a parenting plan that protects your parental rights and advances the best interests of your children. However, if a just resolution requires litigation in court, I am prepared to build a compelling case that delivers positive results.

Custody and visitation laws in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, there are two types of custody and several ways custody can be arranged:

  • Legal custody — The right to make decisions impacting the child’s health, education and welfare
  • Physical custody — The right to have actual physical possession of the child
  • Sole legal and physical custody — Either or both types of custody awarded to one parent
  • Shared legal and physical custody — Either or both types of custody awarded in degrees to both parents
  • Primary physical custody — The right to have physical possession of the child for the majority of the time
  • Partial physical custody — The right to have physical possession of the child for less than the majority of the time
  • Supervised physical custody — The right to have custodial time with a child only when a third party monitors the interaction between parent and child

When both parents are responsible, mature and engaged in their children’s lives, the court generally favors shared custody. However, the overriding consideration for the court when determining a child custody arrangement is the best interests of the child. The law requires the court to consider several factors when determining if an award of custody is in the child’s best interest, such as:

  • Which parent is more likely to encourage and permit contact between the child and the other parent
  • Present and past abuse a parent has committed
  • The need for stability and continuity in the child’s life
  • The child’s sibling relationships
  • The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child’s maturity and judgment
  • Each party’s availability to care for the child

The law is gender-neutral, so neither the parents’ nor the children’s genders should be a factor in any decision.

It also bears mentioning that Pennsylvania has some of the most progressive grandparents’ rights laws in the country. Grandparents do have standing to request visitation with their grandchildren after the death of a parent or a divorce.

Reaching a child custody settlement

Negotiation is a useful tool for arriving at a settlement that balances the needs of the child and the rights of the parents. Negotiation avoids an adversarial contest that can split the parents even further apart when they must be able to cooperate to make their parenting plan work. Negotiation gives parents more control over the outcome, so they tend to be more committed to making a mediated plan work. I am adept at reaching negotiated settlements that save my clients time, stress and the expense of trial.

Unfortunately, not all parents are willing to be reasonable, and some parents have legitimate reasons to want to protect their children from an abusive or unfit parent. These types of cases must go to trial, and I am prepared to capably assist you and your children during this difficult time.

Contact a detail-oriented family law attorney in Easton for child custody representation

Your right to maintain a loving relationship with your child might depend on the quality of your legal representation. Richard J. Shiroff has more than 35 years of experience litigating Pennsylvania custody battles. Call today at 610-253-1023 or contact me online to schedule your initial consultation. Richard J. Shiroff serves clients in Easton and Allentown and throughout Northampton, Lehigh and Carbon counties.

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Office Location
  • Easton Office
    724 Lehigh Street
    Easton, Pennsylvania 18042
    Phone: 610-253-1023
    Fax: 610-253-4385