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Child Custody Initial Filing And Modification Representation To Reflect Changes In Your Life

Child custody is a sensitive and emotionally charged issue, and if not handled correctly it can have serious negative impacts for your family. Finding a peaceful and fair solution is the goal, but that is not always possible. Even after custody has been granted, over time a custody decree or child support order may cease to match up with realities. Children grow. Incomes change. Parents relocate. Life happens.

Either party can petition the court for a modification of family court orders if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Sometimes, the parties can agree to new terms, and sometimes, modifications are bitterly opposed. Our family law attorneys at Anderson, Leech & Long can help you find the way forward or advocate for you and your parental rights in contested court proceedings.

We Will Work To Accomplish Your Custody Goals

The initial custody filing can be a difficult time for you, as this takes place during the divorce process and it can be an emotionally charged dispute. We will try to encourage a cooperative approach with your spouse’s counsel, but if they are unwilling to work with our goals then we will use all of our knowledge and skill to accomplish your custody goals. With our attorneys on your side, you can rest assured that we will use our combined 100 years of experience to zealously advocate for you to persuade the judge to our position. However, if you already have a custody decree that is not the end of the issue, as we can help you seek a post-decree custody modification.

Post-Decree Modifications Of Custody And Support

Our attorneys represent parents who are seeking to modify the court order because something has changed. They also represent parents who oppose a modification petition because it will have a negative impact on themselves or their children. On either side, our lawyers can knowledgeably argue on your behalf and assert your rights for the following services:

  • Modification of child support because of a change in one party’s income or circumstances
  • Termination of child support or alimony
  • Modification of physical and/or legal custody
  • Changes to the parenting plan and co-parenting schedule

Relocation Disputes

Moving the children out of western Pennsylvania or out of state is often contentious. The court weighs the parents’ wishes against the best interests of the child. The relocating parent must show a need, such as improved employment prospects, or a benefit to the child, such as better schools or a family support network. The noncustodial parent who opposes relocation must demonstrate that it will interfere with their ability to have a meaningful relationship with their child.

A parent may not move without the consent of the other parent or the court’s approval. In other words, the custodial parent can’t move and ask for official permission after the fact. The noncustodial parent must be notified, and a hearing will be set for each side to state their case. If the court grants relocation, then the parenting agreement and child support orders may need to be modified accordingly.

When Life Changes, Court Orders Need To Change, Too

Reach out to Anderson, Leech & Long for experienced legal counsel if you are seeking or opposing a post-decree modification of a Pennsylvania family court order. Call our Pittsburgh law office at 412-347-4309 or use the email contact form.