Child Custody in Monroe ​County

When a couple divorces, child custody issues often become one of the most emotionally charged and complex parts of the separation process. Even when parents agree on how children should be parented, the process involves a judge who reviews the agreement and enters a formal order to enforce the decision.  

In Monroe County, child custody cases are taken on by the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas, better known as the Custody Department. The LLF Law Firm Family Law Team can advocate for your rights in Monroe County child custody cases, regardless of whether there is a dispute over custody terms. Call us today at 888.535.3686 or use the LLF Law Firm Family Law Team's contact link to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options. 

Where Are Child Custody Cases Heard in Monroe County?  

Family Court for Monroe County is located at 610 Monroe Street, Suite 221, in Stroudsburg. This is the designated location for filing child custody complaints and related documents, as well as where family court judges preside over hearings in Monroe County. Should you have a child custody case in this jurisdiction, it will be addressed here.  

Child custody matters are handled by hearing officers and judges specializing in domestic relations issues. Family Court judges also manage divorce, child and spousal support, and domestic violence cases, among other related matters. 

What Are the Options for Child Custody Arrangements? 

There are two primary categories of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. It's important to distinguish between these two because both are addressed in child custody orders issued by judges in Monroe County. 

Physical custody describes the child's day-to-day care, including providing necessities like food, clothing, and shelter, as well as transportation to and from school, extracurricular activities, and medical appointments. This custody arrangement may involve one parent having primary custody, shared custody with both parents spending significant time with the child, or sole custody for one parent, potentially limiting visitation for the other parent, which might require supervision by a court-appointed agency or monitor. 

On the other hand, legal custody concerns significant decisions regarding the child's upbringing, such as religious practices, educational choices, and healthcare decisions. This responsibility can be shared between both parents or granted solely to one parent, which may not necessarily align with the parent who has physical custody. 

Hybrid custody arrangements can be tailored to fit the unique needs and circumstances of each family. These arrangements may involve a combination of different custody types, such as joint physical custody with sole legal custody granted to one parent, or vice versa. Ultimately, the best custody arrangement prioritizes the well-being and interests of the child while considering the capabilities and circumstances of each parent. 

What Criteria Must Be Met to Pursue Child Custody in Monroe County? 

Children must reside in Monroe County for at least six months before courts will consider hearing their custody case. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For instance, if a child is younger than six months old or if the child in question has been abused or abandoned, the court may hear the case. 

There are limitations on who can bring a child custody case before the court. Depending on the circumstances, parents, grandparents, or someone who has assumed parental responsibilities can pursue custody. A person willing to be legally responsible for the child – or someone with a long-standing interest in the welfare of the child in the absence of the parent – may also pursue custodial rights. 

The court also considers the relationship between the child and the individual seeking custody. This includes assessing the quality of the bond, the level of involvement in the child's life, and any existing custody arrangements or visitation schedules. The court also evaluates the stability of the environment that the individual seeking custody can provide for the child, including factors such as housing, financial stability, and support systems. 

What Is the Process for Resolving Child Custody Cases in Monroe County? 

In Monroe County, child custody cases are typically resolved through a legal process that involves several steps. The process typically begins with one or both parents filing a petition with the court seeking custody of the child. In some cases, the court may require the parents to attend mediation sessions to attempt to reach a custody agreement outside of court. Mediation involves a neutral third party assisting the parents in resolving their custody disputes amicably. 

If mediation is unsuccessful or if the court deems it necessary, a custody evaluation may be ordered. A court-appointed evaluator assesses the circumstances of each parent and the child's relationship with them to make recommendations to the court regarding custody arrangements. 

If the parents are unable to reach an agreement through mediation or if a custody evaluation is inconclusive, the case will proceed to a court hearing. During the hearing, each parent presents their case, and the judge considers all relevant factors before making a custody determination. 

Based on the evidence presented during the hearing, the judge issues a court order outlining the custody arrangement. The order may specify whether custody is joint or sole, the visitation schedule, and any other relevant terms regarding the child's care and upbringing. 

It's important to note that the procedure for resolving child custody cases may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case and the preferences of the parties involved. The court's primary consideration in making custody determinations is the best interests of the child. 

The LLF Law Firm's Family Law Team has assisted clients with child custody issues in Monroe County and throughout Pennsylvania. We understand the weight of such cases – we stand ready to safeguard your rights and pursue a child custody arrangement that prioritizes your child's well-being. 

How Can I Challenge the Terms of a Child Custody Order in Monroe County? 

If the child custody dispute was presided over by a hearing officer rather than a judge, parties have 20 days after the hearing officer issues a custody order to file "exceptions" to that proposed order. These exceptions must outline any issues with the Hearing Officer's proposed child custody order. As a result, a judge will conduct a hearing to address the exceptions, during which parties can advocate for or against the proposed child custody order. 

If the child custody matter was overseen by a judge and a party disagrees with the custody order, they have two options: filing a motion for reconsideration with the judge or filing an appeal with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, situated at 530 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. This must be done within 30 days of the judge issuing the custody order, regardless of whether a motion for reconsideration has been filed. 

If you believe that the custody order issued by the hearing officer or judge is not in the best interests of your child or fails to adequately address your concerns, it's important to take timely and appropriate action to challenge it. Filing "exceptions" within the specified timeframe allows you to formally outline any objections or issues you have with the proposed custody order. This initiates a review process by a judge who will carefully consider your exceptions and the evidence presented before making a final decision. 

The LLF Law Firm Family Law Team can provide guidance if you disagree with a child custody order or if the other party is contesting an order you support. We have experience in the legal principles and procedures governing disputed custody orders and are ready to tailor our counsel to your unique circumstances. 

What Recourse Do I Have if My Ex Disregards the Child Custody Order in Monroe County? 

Given that the child custody order represents an official decree from a judge of the Family Court in Monroe County, disregarding its provisions is a grave matter. Violating the terms of a child custody order can lead to contempt of court charges, potentially resulting in fines or imprisonment. However, prior to such penalties, the aggrieved party must file a Petition for Contempt with the same court that rendered the child custody decision. 

In numerous instances where one party breaches the custody order, especially with repeated violations, the other party may petition the court to amend the order to mitigate the likelihood of future infractions. This request may arise, for instance, if one parent refuses to comply with the court-ordered custody schedule or consistently jeopardizes the child's welfare. 

The LLF Law Firm Family Law Team has a comprehensive understanding of the procedures involved in contempt petitions within Monroe County family court matters. Our adept attorneys are ready to assist you in filing – or defending against – a contempt petition lodged in Monroe County Family Court. 

How Can I Modify the Terms of a Custody Order in Monroe County? 

Child custody orders are judicial directives outlining each parent's responsibilities concerning their child's well-being. Any changes to these terms must be authorized by the judge. Even if both parents consent to deviations from the custody order, approval from the judge is necessary to avoid potential contempt charges. This requirement prioritizes the child's best interests over parental convenience. 

To make changes to a child custody order, the proper protocol involves filing a motion with the Family Court in Monroe County to request modification. This allows the judge to hear the rationale behind the proposed changes and determine their alignment with the child's welfare. 

In instances where only one spouse seeks changes, the procedure remains consistent—submitting a motion to the Monroe County Family Court detailing the requested changes and justifications. The judge may then convene a hearing to consider input from both parties before deciding on the requested modification or proposing alternative adjustments to the custody order. 

The LLF Law Firm's Family Law Team is made up of seasoned attorneys who are well-versed in the criteria applied by Monroe County judges when evaluating and adjudicating custody order modification motions. Whether you're seeking changes or contesting proposed changes, our legal team is ready to provide guidance and representation tailored to your specific case. 

LLF Law Firm: Your Partner in Resolving Custody Issues in Monroe County 

With years of experience in handling child custody matters in Monroe County, the LLF Law Firm Family Law Team is committed to assisting parents. We'll collaborate with you to gather relevant information supporting your stance regarding the terms of the child custody order, advocating for your parental rights while prioritizing your child's best interests. Should custody terms be violated, we'll guide you through enforcement procedures; conversely, if you face accusations of non-compliance, we'll defend you against contempt charges. 

Beyond dispute resolution, we can help craft mutually agreeable custody arrangements. Our attorneys leverage their familiarity with the Family Court in Monroe County to create custody agreements acceptable to both parties and the court. Ensuring the agreement aligns with judicial standards prevents potential conflicts down the line. 

If you're facing a child custody issue in Monroe County, reach out to the LLF Law Firm Family Law Team today at 888.535.3686 or through our contact form to schedule a confidential consultation. Your child's future is paramount, and we're here to help you safeguard it. 

Contact a skilled Family Law Team Today!

The LLF Law Firm has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Our Family Law Team will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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