Attorney Alexandria "Ally" Crouthamel Is A
Solid Legal Ally

A Respected Family Law And Child Custody Advocate

When you need assistance with child custody and child support matters, attorney Alexandria “Ally” Crouthamel can assist. At Crouthamel Law Offices, she has extensive experience supporting Pennsylvania families.

She has worked with many area families to help them resolve custody disputes during divorce. Some of the many matters that she has addressed include who should be responsible for paying child support and what amount meets the child’s needs as well as how custody and parenting time will be shared between co-parents.

She can also provide guidance to unmarried fathers and mothers in paternity actions and can assist in other custody issues when a nonmartial relationship has ended but the responsibility to care for and support a child has not. As your child grows, if there are any legal situations that touch them directly, then she can also assist with any child or youth legal matters that may arise.

When you do not know your next step, turn to Crouthamel Law Offices. There, you can ask your questions and get the answers you need to move forward.

What Are The Types Of Custody In Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania law recognizes two different types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Parents may share one or both types of custody.

Physical custody determines where a child lives and which parent cares for their daily needs. Parents often share physical custody, and the amount of parenting time each co-parent has will depend on their unique situation. In some cases, the court may grant one parent sole physical custody of a child.

Legal custody determines who has the right to make important decisions about the child’s life. Even if a parent does not have physical custody of a child, they may still take an active part in choices about their education, medical care, religious upbringing and other key details.

How Is Joint Legal Custody Handled In Allentown?

In Allentown, Pennsylvania, joint legal custody, also known as shared legal custody, is a child custody arrangement in which both parents share the decision-making authority regarding the child’s upbringing, even if they do not share physical custody equally. The key decisions that require agreement from both parents include choices about the child’s:

  • Education
  • Health care
  • Religious upbringing
  • Other issues of significance

When parents have joint legal custody, neither can make these major decisions alone without the input and consent of the other parent. Allentown courts generally promote the child’s continuous well-being through joint legal custody whenever possible, regardless of major conflicts between the parents.

What Rights Do Noncustodial Parents Have In Pennsylvania?

Noncustodial parents in Pennsylvania are generally entitled to scheduled physical custody or visitation periods with the child.

The schedule can vary but often includes alternating weekends, holidays, school breaks and summer vacation periods. Noncustodial parents also have the right to access information about their child’s health, education and general well-being from third parties like schools and doctors.

Additionally, they maintain the right to be consulted on major decisions affecting the child’s interests when they have joint legal custody. The main key legal objective is to ensure that the child’s best interests are protected.

How Is Custody Determined In Lehigh County When Parents Are Unmarried?

When unmarried parents seek a custody determination in Lehigh County, the courts decide based on the best interests of the child after considering factors like:

  • Each parent’s ability to provide care and stability
  • The child’s relationships with parents
  • Any history of substance abuse or violence
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child’s needs

Paternity will need to be established if not already done so. From there, custody arrangements for legal and physical custody and a parenting schedule will be determined just as they would for a divorced couple.

What Factors Can Impact Child Custody?

When determining what custody arrangement is in a child’s best interests, Pennsylvania courts consider a wide variety of different factors. These include:

  • The wishes of both parents
  • The wishes of the child
  • The child’s needs
  • The ability and willingness of both parents to care for the child’s needs
  • The relationship the child has with each parent

Pennsylvania courts may also consider other details if the judge believes that they are relevant. This could include allegations of abuse or a parent’s criminal record.

Toughness That Makes A Difference

Attorney Crouthamel’s strength is fierce advocacy, but it comes from a place of compassion. Understanding your story gives her the conviction to pursue the results you deserve. She puts your needs first every single time.

If you would like to schedule a free consultation with attorney Crouthamel, call 610-857-7490 or fill out this online contact form.