Because situations change, Pennsylvania courts allow parents to seek modifications of child custody orders. Whether you seek or oppose a modification, Catherine H. Voit can help. With more than 25 years of experience in family law, Catherine understands the legal requirements and court procedures. She also recognizes that custody disputes can be hard on children and works to minimize the disruption to your family.
Parents are free to amicably agree to modify a child custody arrangement. Reasons for modification may include:
If you or your spouse informally agree to make significant changes to custody and visitation schedules, you should consult a child custody attorney who can help you officially modify the agreement. This ensures that the court will be able to enforce the new arrangement if issues arise down the road. So long as a custody modification seems to be working well and serves the best interests of the child, the court will typically approve the changes.
If parents can’t agree on a custody modification, one parent can file a petition with the court. The petition must state the reasons for the request and describe the proposed new arrangement. The other parent must be notified of the petition, and both parents will be ordered to appear at a custody conference. If the parties cannot reach an agreement at the conference, the court will issue a temporary order and schedule further proceedings.
The court will consider evidence and arguments from both sides. Ultimately, the court will modify the custody order if the judge determines that the new arrangement serves the best interests of the child. The court considers a variety of factors, including the child’s preference, the need for stability and continuity in the child’s education, family life and community life, the existence of domestic abuse, the availability of the parent to care for the child or ability to make appropriate childcare arrangements, and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate.
Parents should consult an experienced family lawyer about any child custody modification. Catherine H. Voit understands Pennsylvania’s child custody laws and can explain how they apply to your situation. While Catherine always tries to reach an amicable resolution to child custody issues, she is a seasoned litigator who will pursue your case in court.
Whether you are seeking or opposing a child custody modification, Catherine H. Voit works tirelessly to resolve your conflict and protect your rights. To set up an appointment, call Catherine today at 484-881-3185 or contact her online. Evening and early morning appointments are available upon request.