Sometimes the best home for a child is not with their parents
Unfortunately, there are many instances of children being abused, neglected or orphaned because of unforeseen events. Different issues can arise such as: a parent relocating, job loss, or many other unforeseen circumstances that can necessitate someone other than the biological parent stepping in to care for the children.
Children do not have the ability to choose their parents. If a child’s safety, well-being, or health is at stake, sometimes it is in the child’s best interest to live with someone else. Our attorneys can help protect the interests of a grandparent, aunt, uncle, other family member, or even a foster family. This process must be done diligently and through the correct legal channels. The Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca, P.C. will help you through these difficult times to ensure the children get placed within your care.
There are certain laws and statutes that protect children in Pennsylvania. Our firm knows the complexities of the legal system and that allows us to move matters toward quick resolution for the sake of the children. Our goal is to help you and your family to move forward quickly and painlessly, while doing so with exceptional legal guidance.
Under Pennsylvania’s revised Child Custody Law that was enacted in January of 2011, the Courts now weigh the following factors when making determinations of what is in the “Best Interest of the Children”:
(1) Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party;
(2) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party’s household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused
party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child;
(3) The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child;
(4) The need for stability and continuity in the child’s education, family life and community life;
(5) The availability of extended family;
(6) The child’s sibling relationships;
(7) The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child’s maturity and judgment;
(8) The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to
protect the child from harm;
(9) Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child’s emotional needs;
(10) Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child;
(11) The proximity of the residences of the parties;
(12) Each party’s availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements;
(13) The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party’s effort to protect a child from
abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party.
(14) The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party’s household;
(15) The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party’s household; and
(16) Any other relevant factor.
Under the enacted Custody Law, any determination is a gender neutral determination.
If a grandparent or great-grandparent asserts a claim for custody of a child, the newly enacted Custody statute looks to these additional factors:
(1) the amount of personal contact between the child and the party prior to the filing of the action;
(2) whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship; and
(3) whether the award is in the best interest of the child.
Additionally, when deciding whether a grandparent or great-grandparent is awarded partial physical custody or supervised physical custody, these factors are also considered:
(i) whether it interferes with any parent-child relationship; and
(ii) is in the best interest of the child.
Our team of attorneys will work tirelessly with you to put together the best possible analysis and presentation of the factors listed above to ensure that you are in the best possible situation. This will lead to the right Custodial arrangement that truly is in the “Best Interest of the Child.”
Our attorneys genuinely care about our clients and the wellbeing of their families. Do not try to solve third party custody matters on your own. Call the Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca, P.C. for all child custody, third party custody, and child protective matters at (610) 892-3877 or visit our website at www.lamonacalaw.com.