Family Law

Family Law

In family law, individuals are frequently seeking advice at a time in their lives when they are facing a major relationship change. The break-up of a marriage may make a person uncertain as to where he or she would live and whether there will be enough money and resources to maintain the individual in the future. Through a divorce proceeding, these issues can and should be raised so that both parties can feel confident that their needs are being addressed. For advice on your personal situation,  contact family law attorney Shirley A. Makuta.

Child Custody

The custody of children is a sensitive issue that needs to be handled with care. Shirley A. Makuta, Esquire, will assist you through your custody proceeding. It is important that parties understand that both parents should play a major role in the lives of their children. Under the law of Pennsylvania, both parents have the opportunity to be equally involved with the children. Legal custody deals with decision-making, particularly in the areas of health, education, and religion. Physical custody involves development of a schedule as to when a child would be with each parent during a normal school week, weekends, summer, and major holidays. These are decisions that can be made between the parties and reduced to an Order of Court or parenting agreement. If need be, the courts can be involved in facilitating such a determination.

Child Support

Child support is available and is determined on a case-by-case basis after review of the parents’ incomes and the amount of time the child or children spend with each parent. In general, child support continues until a child is 18 years of age and has graduated from high school.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is available to separated spouses where the filing spouse has a lesser income than the paying spouse. The parties’ income is reviewed as well as additional factors including but not limited to whether there is child support, other sources of income, payment of health insurance and similar factors. Shirley A. Makuta, Esquire, handles initial support conferences as well as hearings de novo (appeals) in Allegheny, Armstrong, and Westmoreland counties.