Custody

Compassionate, legal support — and answers you can count on
Gross McGinley Lehigh Valley PA Child Custody Attorneys

Child Custody Attorneys

We know that custody disputes can be among the most stressful, bitter legal actions. We’ll help you feel at ease with the process and ensure you and your children’s rights are protected.

Our Family Law Attorneys Are Here for You

Every parent wants what’s best for their child. While some former spouses can work out parenting plans and child support peacefully, others may face a struggle. If you anticipate a challenge from your former partner, you may want to consider hiring an attorney.

Both parents have a right to seek custody of their children. Sometimes, the process of determining where a child will live — and who will pay support — is settled at a custody hearing. Parents who find a solution that they agree on can present their plan to the judge. But when parents disagree, the next step becomes mediation, or court, or both. In that case, the family court considers the child’s best interest when they determine custody and child support.

Types of Child Custody

There are two different types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. A parent with legal custody has the right to make decisions about a child’s education, healthcare, religion, and other issues associated with their welfare. Parents may share legal custody, or it may be given to one parent.

Parents may share physical custody or — like legal custody — the court may award it to one or the other person. Physical custody determines where the child lives, and which parent holds responsibility for daily care.

Other types of family matters associated with child custody include:

  • Child support
  • Conservatorship/ guardianship
  • Grandparent custody
  • Modifications to an existing custody agreement
  • Parenting plan creation
  • Relocation
  • Visitation (parenting time)

When It’s Time to Hire an Attorney

If you and your former partner can agree on a plan that suit both you and your children, that’s great. You don’t need an attorney. However, if you’re both seeking custody and can’t come to an agreement, or you’re worried about winning the arrangement you think is best for your child, you should hire an attorney. Other situations where working with an attorney make sense include when:

  • The custody hearing is happening at the same time as separation, divorce, or other legal issues
  • It’s time to modify the original custody agreement and you’re worried about the outcome
  • You’re involved in a domestic violence situation if your and your children’s safety is at risk
  • You’re remarrying, have other children with a different partner or have step-children
  • You have a history of substance abuse
  • Your ex-partner has hired an attorney

Why Choose Us?

While you can represent yourself, working with an attorney keeps the process moving more quickly — and often gives you a better chance to win the outcome you want for your child.

Our family law attorneys understand the nuances of Pennsylvania custody law. We regularly counsel families on sophisticated family law matters. Members of our team even served as a Divorce Master for Lehigh and Northampton County Family Court.

We also provide mediation services as an alternative to litigation. Our Mediators act as neutral, third parties to help families agree on solutions within a shorter time frame, at lower cost, and without court involvement. One of our attorneys received special training as a mediator and is court appointed to serve as one.

    Have questions? Need to speak to someone about your legal needs? We're here to help.





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    Custody Team

    View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Malcolm J. Gross

    Malcolm J. Gross

    Partner
    View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Anne K. Manley

    Anne K. Manley

    Partner
    View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Constance K. Nelson

    Constance K. Nelson

    Associate
    View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Kellie Rahl-Heffner

    Kellie L. Rahl-Heffner

    Partner
    View Profile

    Rachael E. Shaw

    Associate
    View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Allen I. Tullar

    Allen I. Tullar

    Partner

    Frequently Asked Questions

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