The issues that arise in family court are more than just stressful – they're personal. Contending with hurt feelings on top of the intricacies of Pennsylvania law is a lot to ask of anyone. That's where attorney Joseph D. Lento comes in.
The team at the Lento Law Firm understands that, when it comes to family law cases, a legal advisor can make the difference between a nightmare case and an in-and-out arrangement. Families looking for guidance through these types of cases can reach out at any point during the legal affair for help with their most poignant issues.
What Is Family Court?
The family court in Lebanon County, PA, manages the area's domestic disputes. Any judicial cases involving the nuclear family unit and immediate outstanding family will pass through this court. Cases appearing in family court can include but are not limited to:
- Child support
- Paternity cases
- Family crisis
- Foster care placement
- Legal guardianship
- Termination of parental rights
Family court also oversees instances of domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, and abuse and neglect; however, these cases may also appear in criminal courts depending on the specifics of the reported incident. These incidents can also include restraining order hearings, once again depending on the nature of the reported incident.
Residents of Lebanon County, PA who wish to go to family court may visit the Court of Common Pleas in Lebanon County at:
400 South 8th Street
Lebanon, PA 17042
When Should You Work With a Family Law Attorney?
Anyone looking for legal guidance should feel free to reach out to a family law attorney with the Lento Law Firm. Some instances, however, may seem to have a more immediate need than others. The team with the Lento Law Firm specializes in providing clients assistance with family law cases, including:
Child Custody Cases
Child custody cases in Lebanon County, PA, are fielded both through family court and the Domestic Relations Office. Interested parties may visit the Domestic Relations Office to open a case during standard working hours. A parent or an attending attorney must file a petition with the Domestic Relations Office noting the details of their potential case.
Note, though, that all parties who wish to bring a child custody case or similar case into the Court of Common Pleas in Lebanon County, PA, will be met with a judge who gauges the involved child's well-being over all other concerns. With this in mind, judges have the right, regardless of the case brought forward, to question both the plaintiff and the defendant about their living conditions, the state of the involved child's siblings, and the parents' history of alcohol or drug use, among other things.
Parties interested in contesting child custody, visitation, or other concerns surrounding the field can work with the team at Lento Law Firm to discuss their legal options. Joseph D. Lento can help parents alter their visitation and custody rights, be those rights physical, legal, or all-encompassing.
Protection from Abuse Hearings
Known as protection from abuse orders through the Lebanon County, PA court, there are court orders designed to prevent a victim from enduring additional abuse, be it physical, emotional, sexual, or otherwise, at the hands of another party. Abusers who violate the terms of a protection order may face severe consequences upon a subsequent arrest.
To file a protection order, also known as a "PFA", the victim in question can go to the courthouse in Lebanon County, PA, and request the appropriate documentation from attending county clerks. Other parties involved in these hearings will be notified when a hearing is scheduled, if one is deemed appropriate, and will, in turn, have time to seek out legal counsel if they so choose.
There are two types of protection from abuse orders that can be issued through the Lebanon County, PA court. These include:
- Temporary protection from abuse orders – protection orders designed to separate two parties for a controlled period of time, often used in cases of domestic violence. Parties who receive temporary protection orders will similarly receive notification of a protection order hearing scheduled within ten days of the receipt of their order.
- Final protection from abuse orders – long-term protection orders designed to prevent two or more parties from interacting on a permanent basis. Much in the same way a person may receive a temporary protection order, officers in Lebanon County, PA, will deliver such an order to the recipient alongside notification of a hearing. The recipient will have time until the hearing commences to seek out legal guidance and then may continue to request assistance throughout the hearing, up until an attending judge comes to a conclusion about the applicable circumstances.
Parties who may be targeted with a protection from abuse order include:
- Former spouses
- Current spouses
- Intimate partners, even those not legally recognized
- Former intimate partners, including those not legally recognized
- Parties currently living with the plaintiff requesting the protection order
- Family members, be they related to the plaintiff via blood or through marriage
Parties targeted with a protection from abuse order are prohibited, upon the order's issuing, from engaging in behaviors that may be interpreted with violent intent. These include stalking, online and in-person harassment, the issuing of threats, and/or the use of force against the party who requested the order. Defendants facing a protection from abuse order may also be financially charged after the order in question is issued. The plaintiff, comparatively, will not be charged for the services offered to them by the court should the order meet approval.
Navigating Lebanon County Family Court
Issues that come to light in family court can require a delicate yet firm touch – one that the team with Lento Law Firm can provide. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can provide families with the information they need to smoothly sail through child custody meetings and proceedings, protection from abuse case, divorce proceedings, spousal support court, and more.
To schedule a case consultation with the Lento Law Firm, call 888-535-3686 or reach out via the Firm's online form.