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Legal Custody in PA

Legal custody may involve making decisions about your child’s education, medical care, and other needs.

When raising a child, there are many important decisions to be made. Children are not typically trusted to choose their own path, making it the responsibility of parents to steer their child’s life in the right direction. If you are involved in a battle for custody, you are likely worried about not being able to make an impact on your child’s life.

Our Pittsburgh custody lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC understand fighting for custody can be stressful. You have not done anything wrong, and you only seek the opportunity to raise your child in a way that fits your principles and beliefs. Attorney Anthony Piccirilli will guide you through the process of obtaining custody, keeping your informed every step of the way.

Call (412) 471-5100 now to find out how we can help you.


Understanding Legal Custody

In Pennsylvania, two types of custody exist: legal and physical. Most people know that physical custody concerns where the child will live and who will care for them from day to day, but few consider that another set of responsibilities exist. Legal custody is the right and responsibility of a parent to make long-term decisions about a child’s upbringing on a child’s behalf. This often includes making decisions regarding the following key elements of a child’s welfare:

  • Education
  • Medical Care
  • Dental Care
  • Religion
  • Cultural Education

How is Legal Custody Awarded?

In most custody cases, the best interest of the child is the chief concern. In other words, which parent is best equipped to attend to the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child? Further, legal custody can either be joint or sole; either both parents are involved in making welfare decisions or one parent has all legal and physical rights.

Joint custody is always preferred by the court, as granting sole custody can deprive a child of a relationship with one of their parents. However, awarding sole custody might be necessary if one parent is engaged in negative or dangerous activity. A parent with sole custody is not required to consider the wishes of the other parent.

Courts only issue custody orders after careful consideration. There are dozens of elements to consider. Factors that are commonly taken into account in custody cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Which parent will provide the child with continuity in their education and interaction with friends and family?
  • Does either parent engage in physical or mental abuse? Which party will be able to best protect the child from abuse?
  • Are there relationships with siblings that would be better maintained by staying with one parent?
  • Is one parent more likely to be available on a regular and consistent basis?
  • Is there any way for the parents to set their differences aside and work together for the sake of the child?

Let Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Protect Your Rights

If you are trying to obtain legal custody of your child, it can feel as if you are being treated unfairly. The legal system can be cold and calculating, with no one taking your preferences into consideration. You are a parent, and you deserve the opportunity to be involved in making long-term decisions for your child’s welfare.

Our Pittsburgh custody lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC realize that a fight for custody can uproot everything you have worked so hard to establish. With years of experience helping good people, we will work tirelessly to ensure that your case is presented in the best possible light. Call (412) 471-5100 today to see how your relationship with your child can be maintained.