Child custody is one of the most emotional of all the legal issues associated with legal separation and/or divorce. While much has changed in the 50 years since Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, opened its doors, some things remain the same. Parents always want what is best for their children. It sometimes takes a skilled child custody attorney to help make that possible.

Whether you are beginning a child custody case associated with a divorce or the birth of a child out of wedlock, need help enforcing a child custody order, or need to modify an existing order due to relocation or abuse, contact the Pennsylvania child custody lawyers at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC. We have offices in Harrisburg, serving all communities in Dauphin County, Cumberland County, York County, Northumberland County and Franklin County.

Flexible Methods For Determining Child Custody

Our law firm has handled more than a thousand child custody cases over the years. We are skilled at working with parents at any stage of agreement or disagreement. If you and the other parent would like to use mediation to arrive at a child custody agreement, we can assist with that. We are also able litigators, well-prepared to present your case in court should a negotiated or mediated agreement not be reached. If your case does go to court, we can review the child custody evaluation process with you and help you secure an expert evaluator.

Resolving Issues Involving The Children

Several inter-related issues must be agreed upon regarding children. These include questions of:

  • Where the child will live and when
  • Who will make decisions for the child
  • How the child will be financially supported

Other issues may be included in the child custody agreement if the parents so choose; for example, the parents may agree to raise the child in a certain religion or to allow or limit visitation with certain relatives. All of these issues can be considered during the process of arriving at a child custody agreement.

Custody Options IN LIEU OF 'Visitation'

Pennsylvania's child custody law no longer recognizes "visitation," but instead defines the following custody options:

  • Shared physical custody (a significant share of time with each party)
  • Primary physical custody (one party has more time than the other)
  • Sole physical custody (the child lives with only one party)
  • Supervised physical custody (the child visits with one party only under supervision)
  • Shared legal custody (both parties have decision-making authority)
  • Sole legal custody (one party has sole decision-making authority)

Best Interest Of The Child And Other Considerations

If a family court judge will be involved in determining the custody decision, there are a number of factors involved in the child custody decision. The best interest of the child is always a top priority, but all parties to a child custody matter have rights as well, even children and, in some instances, grandparents and other relatives. Learn more about mothers' rights and father's rights.

Contact Our Pennsylvania Child Custody Enforcement Attorneys

Child custody and visitation can be a contentious battle. At Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, we never lose sight of the fact that we not only represent the needs and rights of a parent but also the best interest of a vulnerable child. If your pending divorce will involve a child custody decision, contact the Harrisburg child custody attorneys at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC. Call 717-827-4074.