Harrisburg Child Custody Lawyer
Respected Attorneys for Child Custody Matters
A matter that affects your child requires responsive and aggressive legal attention. At Foreman & Caraciolo, this is exactly what we provide. Our experienced lawyers are well equipped to handle complex child custody matters efficiently and effectively regardless of whether they involve sole or shared custody, visitation rights, fathers’ rights, grandparents’ rights, enforcing custody orders, parental kidnapping or some other concern.
Attorneys at our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, law office have been appointed as guardians ad litem (professionals who appear in a lawsuit on behalf of a child) by the courts in child custody disputes. We have also been selected to serve as arbitrators, as judges know our representation for ethical and effective work.
Custody Conciliation and the Best Interests of the Children
When dealing with children, the courts always look toward the best interests of the child, not just what will work the best for the mother or the father. However, the state of Pennsylvania also recognizes that parents often know better than the court when it comes to the best interests of their child. The process of custody conciliation is used to allow parents and a conciliator to sit down and talk about what would be best for the children. The conciliator can then use the input of the parents when making recommendations to the court about custody and visitation issues.
Allegations of Abuse and Domestic Violence
Unfortunately, in contentious or bitter custody battles some parents make false accusations of child abuse or domestic violence in an attempt to get the upper hand in custody decisions. These cases often need special attention. Because our law office is located directly across the street from the Dauphin County Courthouse, we are well-positioned to take immediate action in times of crisis.
Don’t Just Take Any Advice. Talk with a Lawyer. Call 717.236.9391.
When a child custody matter affects your life, it may seem like everyone around you has advice — but not all the advice you receive is correct. Don’t make important decisions based on misinformation. Talk to a family law lawyer about how Pennsylvania child custody law may apply in your situation.
At Foreman & Caraciolo, we help our clients understand the law so that they can feel confident that they understand what is going on and can make informed decisions about child custody issues. We won’t overwhelm you with legal jargon and add to your stress, we want to put your mind at ease and clearly explain all of your options.
For responsive, aggressive and personalized service, talk with the lawyers at Foreman & Caraciolo. Call 717.236.9391 for a free case evaluation. You may also complete our online contact form.
*On January 24, 2011, a new child custody provision became effective (Act 112 of 2010) with some important changes to child custody litigation in Pennsylvania. Initially, changes are made to terminology for primary physical custody, partial custody, and sole physical custody. Most importantly, the new Child Custody Act has enumerated factors to consider on awarding custody, including the following:
The best interests of the child and safety of the child;
- Which parent is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other party;
- Present and past abuse committed by a parent or a member of the parent’s household;
- Parental duties of each parent on behalf of the child;
- The need for stability and continuity in the child’s education, family life and community life;
- The availability of extended family;
- The child’s sibling relationships;
- The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child’s maturity and judgment;
- The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm;
- Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child’s emotional needs;
- Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child;
- The proximity of the residences of the parties;
- Each party’s availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements;
- The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party’s effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party;
- The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party’s household;
- The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party’s household;
- Any other relevant factors.
23 Pa.C.S.A. §5328
Child custody litigation will now be an exercise in exploring each of these factors and questioning each factor as they relate to the other parent. Effective child custody litigation will requiring addressing each factor with the help of an experienced attorney in order to present evidence in an efficient and understandable matter. Although the best interest of the child is still the overarching goal of any child custody litigation, experienced counsel recognizes that it is no longer the only factor and should explore each factor with her or his new client in order to present the best possible child custody case to the county court judges.