Our lawyers regularly assist clients with issues pertaining to child custody and support.
The overriding concern in child custody disputes is the best interests of the child. There are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody is the right to make major decisions concerning a child - decisions pertaining to religion, education, and health. Legal custody is typically shared. Sole legal custody is usually only granted when one parent is not fit to make such decisions or where the parties have demonstrated to the court that they cannot successfully share legal custody.
Physical custody refers to the time the child physically is with each parent. In most cases, physical custody is “shared” or “joint” because Pennsylvania courts have held that spending time with each parent is generally in the child’s best interest. Custody orders can vary greatly depending on the facts of each case.
Child support in Pennsylvania is calculated with a formula that takes the monthly net incomes of both parents as input. Support can be adjusted depending on the number of overnights the child has with each parent, health insurance payments, private school tuition, childcare, mortgage payments and public assistance. BGMS attorneys are experienced at identifying all sources of income that should be included in calculating a parent’s total income for support purposes including an earning capacity that might be assigned if a parent is not employed.
Child support is paid until a minor child reaches 18 years of age and graduates from high school. This may be extended if the child has special needs. A parent does not have an obligation to provide for post-secondary education unless an agreement has been made including provisions for post-secondary support.
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When parents separate or divorce, two of the most important issues to settle are how much time each parent will spend with the children and where the children will live.
BGMS is particularly well equipped to handle these situations because our attorneys have vast experience in custody matters.
Contact us for more information.
Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C.
Suite 500 • Benedum-Trees Building
223 4th Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222