When most people think of the court system, they think of criminal cases. But the Pennsylvania court system also includes civil cases. There is also an orphan’s court and a family court. A family court is a special court that deals with family-related issues.
The process of working with a family court can be very complex and contentious, so it is important for people who wish to go through the family court system to understand how the system works. This article will give you a general overview of family law in Pennsylvania family courts.
What Types of Cases are Heard in Pennsylvania Family Courts?
Pennsylvania family courts handle a variety of cases. These include:
i. Divorce Cases
Divorce cases are an example of the types of cases that are heard in Pennsylvania family courts. In Pennsylvania, divorce cases are usually heard in the county where the petitioner resides. The petitioner is the spouse who filed for divorce. The respondent is the other spouse. If the parties live in different counties, the case may be filed in or transferred to the county where the respondent resides.
Divorce in Pennsylvania has its own rules and procedures, so it is vital to have a lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of cases.
ii. Child Custody Cases
In Pennsylvania, family law courts also handle child custody cases. Child custody cases can be complex and emotional and often involve a great deal of negotiation between the parties. In some cases, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s best interests. The court will also consider the wishes of the child if the child is old enough to express a preference. Ultimately, the court will decide based on several factors, giving preference to those we just mentioned.
To get the most out of a child custody case, your attorney will need to gather all relevant information and evidence to support your case and present it in a manner that is persuasive to the court. The lawyer may also need to cross-examine the other party and argue against any opposing arguments.
iii. Child Support Cases
Child support cases are another example of the types of cases that are heard in Pennsylvania family courts. In these cases, the court will hear from both sides and make a determination as to how much child support should be paid. The amount of child support that is ordered will be based on several factors, including the income of the parents, the needs of the child, and the standard of living that the child would have if the parents were still together. In a child support case, one parent may petition the court for an order requiring the other parent to pay a set amount of money each month to help support the child or children.
Child support cases can be complex, but working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that your child gets the most ideal support they are entitled to.
iv. Domestic Violence or Abuse or Neglect Cases
Domestic violence or abuse cases are common in Pennsylvania family courts. In many cases, these types of cases involve a husband and wife, but they can also involve other family members, e.g., children.
There are a number of different types of domestic violence or abuse that can occur, and each type can have different consequences. For example, physical abuse can result in bruises, cuts, or even broken bones, emotional abuse can cause psychological damage, and neglect can lead to poor health and other repercussions.
If you or your child is a victim of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect, it is important to seek help from a professional who can help you get the support and protection you need. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the easier it will be to gather evidence and stem the negative trend. This makes it more likely that you will be able to regain control of your life and break the cycle of abuse.
Who Presides Over Family Court Cases in PA?
In Pennsylvania, the family court system is presided over by a judge. This judge is responsible for making decisions in cases involving divorce, child custody, and other family law matters. The judge also has the power to issue orders and make decisions that are binding on the parties involved in the case. In some instances, the judge may appoint a mediator to help the parties reach an agreement.
A mediator is a person who helps communication and negotiation between two people or groups. In a family law case, the mediator is usually a lawyer who helps the two parties communicate and agree on various aspects of their divorce, such as child custody, visitation, property division, and alimony. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties; the mediator helps them reach their own agreement. This can be beneficial for both parties because it allows them to have more control over the outcome of their case.
Need to File a Claim in a Pennsylvania Family Court?
Filing a claim in Pennsylvania Family Court can be a complicated process, but working with an experienced attorney can make it much more manageable. At NBMS Law, we have extensive experience handling family law cases, and we can help you navigate the legal system to get the best possible outcome for your case.
We will help you with the following:
- Determine if you have grounds for filing a claim. In order to file a claim in Pennsylvania Family Court, you must have grounds for doing so. Some common grounds include divorce, child custody, and support.
- Gather all of the necessary paperwork. Once we have determined that you have grounds for filing a claim, we will need to gather all of the necessary paperwork. This includes things like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and a divorce decree, if applicable.
- File the paperwork with the court clerk’s office, or offer mediation services where applicable.
Contact us by filling out this form to get started.