Berks County Business Law, Family Law and Estate Planning Attorneys

Child Custody Attorneys in Berks County Near Reading, PA

Berks County Child Custody Attorneys Graphic

Family Law Attorneys at The Miller Law Group, PLLC

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Family Law
Family Law
Our Attorneys are proven, experienced Berks County Family Law Specialists.
Divorce Law
Our expert Divorce Attorneys will help you decide which options are best for you based on 40 years' experience practicing PA Divorce Law in Berks County.
Division of Property
Division of Property
Our experienced Property Division Attorneys will make sure you get the best Equitable Distribution of Marital Property.
Spousal Support and Alimony Law
Spousal Support / Alimony
We'll make sure you have money to live will you're separated, to defend yourself in your divorce and to secure your long-term financial well-being.
Child Custody Law
Child Custody
Like you, our Child Custody Attorneys put the children's well-being first while protecting your rights to be with them.
Child Support Law
Child Support
Like you, our Child Support Attorneys put the children's well-being first while protecting your rights to be with them.
Grandparents' Rights
Grandparents' Rights
We'll defend grandparents' rights to see their grandchildren and parents' rights to control who spends time with their children.
Prenuptial, Postnuptial Separation Agreements
  • PA Child Custody Law Overview
  • Frequently Asked Questions
Berks County Child Custody Attorneys Graphic

Child Custody is one of the most intensely emotional areas of Family Law. We totally understand that you're terrified of not having access to your children. We know that you and most spouses involved in Child Custody disputes truly want what is in the best interest of the children.

There are two categories of Child Custody:
  • Physical Custody - Physical custody allows a parent to have the child live with him or her. A parent can be granted:
    • sole custody;
    • shared custody;
    • partial custody; or
    • primary custody.
  • Legal Custody - Legal custody allows a parent to make decisions about the child's upbringing including:
    • education;
    • health;
    • religion; and
    • other important issues.
    Legal Custody is most often granted as shared custody. When Legal Custody is granted to just one parent it is called Sole Legal Custody.
    Reasons for Sole Legal Custody include:
    • a history of violence or sexual abuse to any member of the family;
    • a history of neglecting the child including failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care or anything else a parent can reasonably be expected to protect and maintain the child's physical or mental well-being;
    • a history of drug or alcohol abuse;
    • a history of mental illness that would endanger the child;
    • failure to take care of, show interest, stay in contact with the child; or
    • a parent is moving out of state or out of the country.
    Sometimes both spouses will agree to the Sole Legal Custody and acquiring it is as simple as filing the right paperwork signed by both spouses.

    If one spouse opposes Sole Legal Custody and it goes to court but the spouse who opposed it doesn't show up the judge will usually grant.

    But if the opposing spouse choses to fight Sole Legal Custody resolution can take a long time and be very expensive. You need to prove the reasons you want Sole Legal Custody. An expert Child Custody Attorney gives you the best chance of convincing the court.

    A Sole Legal Custody agreement is something you want to get absolutely right and air tight. If there ary loopholes the parent you thought was out of your child's life may show up years later and make trouble and add even more emotional stress for your child. You absolutely need an experienced Child Custody Attorney.

Pennsylvania judges make child custody decisions based upon the best interests of the child. Judges consider factors that impact the child physically, intellectually, morally and spiritually.They use 16 factors shown below to make that determination. After you read over them it's obvious that the factors are not always clear and extremely subjective. So you need a proven Child Custody Attorney with experience working in Berks County and with the judges likely to handle your case. Your attorney will explain each factor in plain English while explaining their meaning as they apply to you.

Miller Law Group Child Custody Attorneys have 40 years' experience and experts in PA Child Custody Law. When you meet with us we:

  • listen intently as you describe your family's history and current situation;
  • ask important questions to gain an even more detailed understanding;
  • explain your standing in regard to the 16 factors as they are most likely to be interpreted by a judge in Berks County;
  • prepare you to defend against possible allegations regarding anything that happened in the past that may work against you;
  • advise you how to conduct yourself going forward; and
  • help you control your emotions so that the focus always remains on the well-being of the child.

Title 23 ยง 5328. Factors to consider when awarding custody.

Child Custody Attorney Larry W. Miller, Jr., EsquireBerks County Child Custody Attorney Larry W. Miller, Jr.
I will listen carefully while you explain your family situation. My experience as an expert Family Attorney and handling Child Custody cases in Berks County enables me to ask the right questions to further understand your circumstances. I'll then explain where you stand in regard to the Child Custody factors using plain English. You'll clearly understand what comes next.
(a) Factors.--In ordering any form of custody, the court shall determine the best interest of the child by considering all relevant factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors which affect the safety of the child, including the following:

(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.

(2.1) The information set forth in section 5329.1(a) (relating to consideration of child abuse and involvement with protective services).

(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.

(16) Any other relevant factor.

(b) Gender neutral.--In making a determination under subsection (a), no party shall receive preference based upon gender in any award granted under this chapter.

(c) Grandparents and great-grandparents.--

(1) In ordering partial physical custody or supervised physical custody to a party who has standing under section 5325(1) or (2) (relating to standing for partial physical custody and supervised physical custody), the court shall consider the following:

(i) the amount of personal contact between the child and the party prior to the filing of the action;

(ii) whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship; and

(iii) whether the award is in the best interest of the child.

(2) In ordering partial physical custody or supervised physical custody to a parent's parent or grandparent who has standing under section 5325(3), the court shall consider whether the award:

(i) interferes with any parent-child relationship; and

(ii) is in the best interest of the child. (Dec. 18, 2013, P.L.1167, No.107, eff. Jan. 1, 2014)

For most people, having access to your children is the most important thing in the world. Why would anyone risk something so important by choosing the lowest cost Child Support Attorneys? Obviously low cost legal services, like everything else, are low cost for a reason. Are they really going to spend the time required to get the get the best custody arrangements? Are they going to take the time necessary to fully understand your family's situation? Are they going to take the time to ask the necessary questions or even know what to ask?

It doesn't cost anything to call us and you'll be talking to the best Child Support Attorneys in Reading and Berks County. We can discuss our fees. We can't guaranty we're the lowest cost Child Custody Attorney. We don't want to be. We want to be the best Child Custody Attorney. You want the best Child Custody Attorney. What we can guaranty is that you'll get the best possible Child Custody arrangement and that we won't do anything to simply run up our fees.

Does my former spouse have visitation rights if I have Sole Legal Custody?

Most often yes. Your former spouse would have reasonable visitation rights. There may be certain strict conditions that need to be met. It may require supervised visitation.
Miller Law Group PLLC
Family Law, Business Law and Estate Planning Attorneys
25 Stevens Ave West Lawn, PA 19609
Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST
Call Miller Law Group
Call 610-670-9000

Our Berks County Law Offices are Located in West Lawn, PA Near Reading.