Many misconceptions exist about child custody. People often think in terms of joint custody and sole custody. However, there has been a shift in focus in Pennsylvania. Instead, the law is focused simply on achieving the outcome that is in the best interest of the child.
When you come to the law firm of May, Metzger & Zimmerman, L.L.P., our attorneys will be your advocates. We will learn about your goals, and about the outcome that you believe is in the best interest of your child. We will keep moving forward to help you achieve that outcome.
An Overview of the Child Custody Process
Parents and other potential litigants will likely benefit from understanding that the child custody system is designed to encourage parents to reach resolution without proceeding to a hearing as often as possible. Custody hearings most often result in an enormous amount of information about each party, both positive and negative, being presented to the court. As a result, these hearings have an extraordinary high emotional cost on the parties and, more importantly, on the children. This is why it is often best for the child or children involved when parents reach an agreement without going to a hearing.
The system requires that parents first go to a conciliation conference at the Lancaster County courthouse. We will prepare you for and represent you during this conference, presenting all of the necessary information and proposing child custody and visitation arrangements. If an agreement seems to be within reach, the conference officer may recommend trying a specific arrangement for a trial period followed by a follow-conference. If the arrangement is not successful adjustments can be discussed at the follow up conference. A child custody hearing should be viewed as a last resort to be used only when no agreement can be reached.
This is the process that is used in custody cases involving mothers and fathers, grandparents, stepparents, and other parties. It is used with respect to initial custody complaints as well as when modifications to existing custody orders are requested. Our law firm has been handling family law cases since 1929, so you can be confident in our ability to get results for you.
Contact Us Today About Your Child Custody Case
To discuss your case with one of our experienced family law attorneys, contact us today at 717-536-4044 or 877-692-7081 (toll free).