Many PA family court judges have changed the old sterotypes and adopted shared custody when the facts and circumstances indicate such an award is best for the minor children. First, this is not something that you should try to do on your own - hire an experienced child custody lawyer who has trial experience in shared custody cases. Second, you may wish to pursue a court-appointed psychological evaluation of both parents and the children. All of the child psychologists that I have worked with have testified that shared custody is best for the children if both parents are fit, have a reasonable degree of cooperation and live within close proximity, amongst other factors. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish in this case. Your child deserves a healthy relationship with both parents and going to court without a lawyer is not advisable. Check out my website for additional hints.
Lancaster County has a website with a lot of self help items on it. The only problem that Lancaster County is pre-printed on most of the self-help forms so you will need to change the forms yourself to reflect the county in which you are filing the case instead of Lancaster. The link is below. Even if you file yourself, it is always wise to retain an attorney before you attend any court appearance so that the attorney on the other side does not take advantage of your lack of knowledge regarding the law and procedural issues that could detrimentally affect you chance of obtaining what you are seeking. If you are extremely low on funds but still do not qualify for a Legal Services attorney, you could attend the initial conciliation conference on your own, but if the case goes to trial you will probably be severely disadvantaged if you do not have an attorney.
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