Changes in Pennsylvania Child Custody Law

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In January, 2011, Pennsylvania's legislature passed a new law that affects child custody cases. The new law could affect your ability to have contact with your children, so it is important to speak with a trusted attorney if you have concerns.

At The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn, we have thorough knowledge of the new custody law and we are ready to help you understand how it affects your family. If you are a parent, your ability to have legal or physical custody may now be different. If you are a third party, perhaps a grandparent requesting custody or visitation, the new law affects you, too. Whatever your needs, we will work hard to help you achieve your child custody goals.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Philadelphia child custody lawyers, please call 215-268-7241 or toll free 866-657-7318. You can also contact our law firm online.

Two Important Features of the New Law

The new child custody law affects Pennsylvania children and parents in a variety of ways. Our skilled Philadelphia attorneys can explain the details during your consultation, but we wanted to highlight two of the main issues addressed in the new law:

Criminal charges and convictions: Courts must consider past criminal offenses of parents who are seeking custody. The new law also requires courts to consider convictions of any member of the parent's household (such as a boyfriend or girlfriend). Under the new law, parental rights may be suspended while charges are pending, in other words, before a conviction. Before custody is decided, a court hearing will take place to determine whether the child would be safe in the household. The list of offenses has been expanded, and now includes:

  • Violent crimes, like assault and battery or domestic violence
  • Drug offenses
  • DUI
  • Child endangerment
  • Sex crimes

Parental relocation: Custodial parents who want to move away with the child must now complete a number of steps before the move will be allowed. This is especially true when the move would take the child to another state or otherwise make it difficult for the non-custodial parent to have contact with the child. The parent wanting to relocate must inform the other parent, who can then oppose the move in court. The relocating parent then must show how the move is beneficial for the child, not for the parent himself or herself.

Contact a Philadelphia Child Custody Lawyer

To learn more about the new child custody law and how it may affect your family, we invite you to speak with our attorneys. To arrange a consultation at The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn, call 215-268-7241 or toll free 866-657-7318. You can also contact our Philadelphia law firm online.