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Child Custody and Parenting Time

When there are children in a marriage that is breaking down, child custody and visitation (parenting time) can be the most difficult and most important matters to address. Our child custody lawyers in Philadelphia and all surrounding counties firmly believe that a family is forever –- regardless of the change in parents’ marital status. Lawyers can help a couple eliminate the husband/wife relationship but no one can alter the fact that this couple will always be the mother and father of these children.

Unhappy child sitting between parents who are turned away from each other | Philadelphia child custody lawyers at Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman

Child Custody Lawyers in Philadelphia and all Surrounding Counties

A family is forever. Divorce can be painful and disruptive, but the connection of parents to their children continues. In short, notwithstanding the divorce, children need their parents. We will help you find solutions to the difficult issues that face you as a divorcing couple so that your family can survive the divorce.

Our family lawyers know from experience that child custody matters (along with other aspects of a divorce) can be addressed in a way that minimizes the effect on children. Our attorneys help divorcing parents plan for their interaction with their children after the divorce. We consistently look for family-centric solutions to the issues facing the parents, such as post-divorce modifications to existing custody orders. While our family lawyers are aware of, and advocate for, clients’ immediate concerns, we also help you to keep sight of long-term interests. We understand that most people want to be a part of the significant events in a child’s life. We provide legal representation and guidance consistent with that desire.

Contact the child custody lawyers in Philadelphia at Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman LLC for a consultation on your child custody matter. During this consultation, you will be given, and urged to read, the Divorce Book for Parents (by Vicky Lansky) to help you think about constructive ways of dealing with child custody and visitation.

Placing your Child’s Interests before all Others

Because a divorce can be so emotionally challenging for children, we often recommend that clients consult with a child specialist. This specialist can meet with your children and be their advocate to help you understand how your actions and decisions are affecting your children, now or in the future. The child specialist will help both parents arrive at a custody schedule that meets the needs of the children and the parents. Parents often only see custody schedules that meet their own needs without considering how such schedules affect the children.

Parenting After Divorce — Short-Term and Long-Term Legal Child Custody

Some parents have very different parenting styles and rules that make co-parenting after a separation or divorce difficult. Rather than argue about different parenting approaches, a co-parenting counselor can meet with the parents to teach them the skills to be effective co-parents in different households to minimize the tensions between the parents and the children.

If divorced or separated parents cannot agree on many issues and find that they are struggling on a regular basis to reach agreement on issues facing the family, instead of going to court for a decision on these difficult issues, a parent coordinator can be appointed with decision making power granted to the parent coordinator by the parents or by the court. Some parents grant the parent coordinator decision-making power over schedule changes or other common disputes while preserving their rights to go to court over more serious issues. The parent coordinator is usually designated as an independent party, with the ability to report to the court about the dispute.

If both sides agree, child custody, visitation, child support, and all other legal issues can be decided through a collaborative approach.

Family law attorneys and judges can dissolve a marriage, but they do not change the parent-child relationship. Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman LLC’s  child custody lawyers in Philadelphia and all surrounding counties negotiate child custody and visitation agreements that foster the best interests of the children.

The Different Types of Custody

Most parents will share the legal custody of their children, that is the decision-making power that parents have concerning their children. Sharing legal custody means that the parents must discuss important issues that affect their children such as medical, educational, and religious choices.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to the time each parent spends with the children. The parents can have shared physical custody (sometimes referred to as 50/50 custody or joint custody) or one parent can have primary physical custody with the other parent having partial physical custody.

Shared Custody

A shared custody schedule could be structured as week on/week off. For middle school or older children, the parents could switch custody and care of the children every Friday after school. For younger children, parents who share physical custody will probably want the children to be with each parent on a more frequent basis. Such a schedule could be established by having the parents alternate weekends from Friday after school until Monday when school begins. In addition, one parent would have the children overnight every Monday and Tuesday and the other parent would have the children overnight every Wednesday and Thursday.

Primary Custody

Primary custody schedules would have the children staying primarily with one parent during the school week (Sunday overnight through Thursday overnight). The parents would alternate spending weekends with the children from Friday until either Sunday evening or Monday morning.

Get Child Custody Legal Counsel You Can Rely On

Contact our child custody lawyers in King of Prussia, PA to discuss your unique case and to determine whether your family would benefit from the collaborative law approach, appointment of a co-parenting counselor, or a parent coordinator.

Vetrano Vetrano & Feinman Attorneys Tony Vetrano, Lindsay Childs, Sarinia Feinman, Kate Vetrano and Donna Marcus

Need to Talk to Us?

Our experienced family lawyers take the time to fully understand the financial and emotional complexities that can be involved in separating two lives. We offer the patience and resources to effectively guide clients through a divorce, addressing all the challenges they may face in moving forward with their lives. To learn more about how we can help protect your rights and interests in divorce cases, contact Vetrano | Vetrano & Feinman’s child custody lawyers in Philadelphia and all surrounding counties.