Philadelphia Child Custody Attorney

When parents decide to end a relationship, the primary concern should be for the well-being of any minor children. It is usually best for the parties involved to reach agreement on a custody plan rather than litigate and leave the decision to a judge who does not know the parents or the child.

Animosity between parents can get in the way of focusing on the child's best interests, and in the long run, no one comes out ahead. At Previtera & Schimmel, we have spent a large part of our legal career helping children land in the best possible position when their parents end a relationship.

Physical Custody And Legal Custody

The question of custody is divided into physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the actual time a parent spends with the child. Legal custody refers to the legal right to make decisions regarding the child's health, education, religion and other key issues.

Shared legal custody allows both parents to participate in making major decisions affecting the child. Shared physical custody provides both parents significant time with the child depending upon each parent's availability. Primary physical custody appoints one parent as the primary caregiver, while sole custody means the child will live with one parent and the other parent typically does not have any rights to time with the child.

In some instances, a parent may be given supervised physical custody, which provides the parent time with the child as long as it is supervised by a court-approved individual. This occurs when there is evidence of abuse or the child is otherwise deemed to be at risk.

We Help Our Clients Resolve Child Custody Disputes

Diana C. Schimmel worked as a child advocate attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia in its Child Advocacy Unit and served as a law clerk for Judge Donna M. Woelpper in the Family Court of Philadelphia. Both of these roles provided her with great insights into the needs of children when parents split and the importance of concentrating on those needs.

If parents cannot reach agreement, the court will determine the best interests of the child by reviewing a number of factors, including:

  • Who has served as the primary caregiver for the child up to this point
  • The psychological and physical state of the parties seeking custody
  • Whether either parent is more likely to encourage a continued healthy relationship with the other parent and other extended family members
  • Any past or present evidence of abuse
  • The child's preference if the child is deemed old enough and mature enough to provide his or her opinion

We understand a parent's concern for maintaining a healthy relationship with his or her child following divorce finalization or the end of an unmarried relationship. We have a strong track record of helping our clients receive the time they need with their children to make that happen.

Get Answers To Your Child Custody Questions

We can answer your questions about child custody or any family law matter during a no-obligation consultation with an experienced child custody lawyer in Philadelphia. Call 800-580-9136 or email our law firm to schedule an appointment.

We are licensed to practice law in both Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. We work with clients in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.