Ferreira Law provides clients with a level of depth, expertise, and quality. Our approach is always to provide an unparalleled level of personal attention, continuity, responsiveness, and cost efficiency.
Few areas of the law can be as contentious and unpredictable as custody litigation. In most cases, both parents are fit, capable and free of mental illness, substance abuse problems or abusive tendencies. In those cases, the outcome may hinge on subtle issues magnified under judicial scrutiny. Custody litigation should not be undertaken lightly because of the profound effect it may have on the parents and children. By putting a judge in charge, families may lose control over important aspects of their lives. Most people would not want a stranger to decide how often they see their children and under what conditions, even if the stranger is a judge. This is why settlement is usually the best alternative to custody litigation unless there are severe problems. However, settlement is not possible in every case.
Custody Pursuant to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
Ana has handled numerous custody cases pursuant to the specifics of SIJS. SIJS is an immigration classification available to certain undocumented minors who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents. SIJS is a way for minors to apply for and obtain legal permanent residence in the United States. Prior to applying for SIJS with immigration, the minor must first obtain a specific order from the Family Court. This Family Court order must be obtained prior to the minor turning 18 years old.
The decision to divorce is a difficult one to make, particularly if children are involved. The divorce process creates profound stress and often precipitates many other life changes. Ferreira Law is here to guide you through this difficult process before, during and after your divorce.
Both parents are responsible to contribute to the support of their minor children to the best of their earning capacities and financial resources. Child support is a priority obligation, and a parent is expected to meet this obligation by adjusting his or her other expenses. A parent’s duty to support his or her child continues until the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. A parent is not required to contribute to a child’s college education expenses unless he or she has contractually obligated himself or herself to do so.
It can be challenging to determine the proper amount of child support because the law calculates income differently than a tax return, and while expenses are generally ignored, some expenses can make a difference. Some cases involve complex aspects like bonuses, commissions, deferred compensation, unreported cash income, pass-through business income and distributions. The lawyers at Ferreira Law are prepared to meet these challenges in contested hearings as well as settlement negotiations to determine the proper amount of child support.
Child support is generally determined by a guideline published by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Protection from Abuse (PFA)
PFA orders are meant to help those who fear domestic abuse. In most cases, this order forbids all contact. This means that the alleged assailant is forbidden from contacting the victim at their home, school, workplace, or place of business. The person being accused of domestic abuse is not allowed to contact the victim through a third party, such as a friend or family member. In most circumstances, a judge will also forbid the accuser from making contact with the accused. These orders can last for up to three years. However, the situation could become complex very quickly with numerous forms to complete and evidence that must be presented. Whether you are seeking protection or find yourself being falsely accused, Ferreira Law can help you navigate the legal process.