Making Sure You Get The Most Quality Time With Your Children

Debra HenryIf you are going through a divorce and you have minor children, one of the most emotionally distressing aspects of the situation can be determining custody. We understand that the idea of seeing your children less can be heartbreaking. At the Greensburg and Westmoreland County Law Offices of Debra L. Henry, our priority is to protect your child's best interests while also being a zealous advocate for you.

We want to focus on highlighting why you are the best parent rather than discrediting the other parent. By being involved in your children's day-to-day activities, knowing their interests and spending quality time with them prior to custody proceedings, the judge assigned to your case will see how invested you are. More importantly, though, your children will feel loved and secure during a time that is devastating for them.

Making The Right Choices For Your Family

We take a great and personal interest in custody cases. We will get to know you and your family situation in order to determine what is in the best interest of the child regarding custody. Some of the options include:

  • Legal: This concerns who makes important life decisions regarding topics like health care and education.
  • Physical: This involves where the child resides.
  • Primary: One parent has the majority of the time with the child.
  • Partial: One parent does not have the child the majority of the time.
  • Shared (also known as joint custody): Each parent has considerable time with the child.

In most cases, it is best for the parents of the children to come to a custody arrangement on their own, outside of a courtroom. That agreement can be turned into a legal custody arrangement. This is the best case scenario, as the parents often know better than a court what decision is truly best for their children. It is also the most cost-effective and efficient choice. We put substantial effort into reaching an agreement outside of a courtroom because we understand the toll a trial can take on a family and the irreparable damage it can cause.

If that is not possible, however, there is a process in place to determine child custody within the court system. The first step would be a conciliation conference in front of a hearing officer, where the goal is to see if an agreeable arrangement can be made. If that does not result in a mutual decision, the officer will make custody recommendations to the judge. These recommendations will likely be enforced until the time of the trial, which makes it extremely important to be well prepared at the conciliation. This process is generally time-consuming and expensive.

If parents and their representatives can work cooperatively without the need to attend court, it will ease the burden on your children. No one can make better decisions for children than their parents.

Helping You Answer Custody And Relocation Questions

Pennsylvania passed a relocation statute that affects child custody arrangements. But it's important to remember that not every move is considered "relocation."

If you have any questions about the new relocation statute or wonder if your situation would apply, it is better to consult with an experienced attorney before you take any action. Even if you truly weren't sure that you were breaking the rule, if you violate the relocation statute, your judge could order you to return. We can help you understand the rules to prevent you from doing anything wrong. You will put into motion the unintended consequences of a bad choice. Even if there is no custody order, you must adhere to this rule.

  • Will your move cause a significant change in the ability of the other parent to see the child?
  • Will it economically benefit you?
  • What are the amenities in the area?
  • How are the schools?
  • Is there family nearby?
  • What are the motives for the move?

A Lawyer Dedicated To Preserving Your Family

When you need a family law attorney, you deserve a compassionate, experienced advisor. We foster our existing relationships with other family law attorneys in the area so that we can build a framework to resolve cases that benefit everyone, but most importantly, the children.

Call us today at 724-216-6525 with your questions and concerns. If you'd prefer to reach us online, we are happy to email with you.