Family Law Attorney Harrisburg, PA

When you need expert legal guidance to protect your rights when disputes arise, Johnson Duffie is here for you. Our experienced team of attorneys can guide you through any family law challenge, including but not limited to cases involving divorce, child custody, spousal or child support, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, PFAs, name changes, and adoption.

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Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in divorce matters, from the initial filing of a divorce complaint through the finalization of the divorce and beyond. Whether your divorce is a “simple” no-fault divorce with no assets to divide, or a more complicated divorce with multiple claims involved (i.e. equitable distribution, alimony, etc.), our attorneys provide diligent, zealous representation from the inception through the conclusion of your case.


Whether you are seeking representation to prepare a custody agreement with an amicable ex, or you face a more complicated situation that the Court will ultimately need to help you resolve, our child custody attorneys in Harrisburg, PA are experienced in navigating the system and advising you on child custody, including the best way to achieve the outcome you desire.

What Is Physical Custody?

Physical custody arrangements dictate where a child lives, as well as who makes day-to-day decisions involving the child (such as what the child eats for dinner or when the child goes to bed).

While it is typical for one or both parents to enjoy physical custody of a child, other individuals may also exercise physical custody of a child in some cases, including but not limited to grandparents, other family members, or individuals who have acted in loco parentis to a child.

Physical custody is defined by where a child spends the overnight periods of custody. Thus, when parties share joint or 50/50 custody, that means that they each have an equal number of overnight periods of custody, even if one party may have the child more in the daytime (such as a party who always cares for the child while the other party is working). The following are the different types of physical custody typically exercised by parties in a custody matter, whether by agreement of the parties or as imposed by a Court Order:

  • Sole physical custody: One party exercises custody of the child to the exclusion of the other party or parties.
  • Joint or “fifty-fifty” custody: Two parties share equal physical custody time with the child (often on a week-on, week-off basis, or following other schedules such as a 2-2-3 schedule).
  • Primary physical custody: If a party has primary physical custody, that simply means that that party enjoys more custodial time than the other party or parties. If a party exercises any more than fifty percent of the overnight periods of custody with a child, then that party has primary physical custody (even if it’s just one more overnight per week or month than the other party enjoys).
  • Partial physical custody: If a party has partial physical custody, that simply means that that party enjoys less custodial time than the other party or parties. Anything less than fifty percent of the overnight periods of custody is partial physical custody.
  • Supervised physical custody: A party’s periods of custody are supervised, whether at a professional facility or by a private supervisor in a residence or at another location.

What is Legal Custody?

Legal custody is the right to make major decisions regarding a child, including but not limited to where the child attends school, the child’s medical treatment, the child’s religious upbringing, and other important decisions. Legal custody is often shared between parents (“joint” or “shared” legal custody). However, it is also possible to obtain sole legal custody of a child, and it is possible for others (such as grandparents) to obtain legal custody of a child.

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Spousal or Child Support

Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in support matters before Domestic Relations, county courts, and the Superior Court. Whether you are filing for support, or you are paying support, our attorneys’ expert guidance can help you navigate the system.

Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements

Whether you are contemplating marriage or you are already married, our attorneys can assist you in drafting an agreement outlining how your assets and debts would be divided in the event of a divorce. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements can give parties peace of mind and save a lot of time and money spent fighting over financial matters in the event of a future divorce filing.


Our attorneys represent both plaintiffs who have filed for a PFA on behalf of themselves and/or their minor children, as well as defendants in PFA actions. Depending on your individual circumstances, we can represent you in your PFA hearing before the Court or help you negotiate a settlement of the PFA matter with the other party.

Name Changes

Our attorneys can assist you in both adult and juvenile name changes. Frequently, clients wish to change their names or their children’s names as the result of divorce or adoption, but there are many other valid reasons to change a name. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in name change cases, whether contested (for example, by the child’s other parent) or uncontested.


Our attorneys have experience in private adoptions, often involving step-parents or grandparents, and will represent you through the process of filing for adoption, gathering necessary paperwork and clearances, and preparing and participating in hearings before the Court. Adoptions may also involve requesting that the Court terminate a parent’s rights (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), especially in step-parent adoption cases.

Trust Johnson Duffie as Your Family Law Attorney in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

When you are facing any type of family law issue, do it with an experienced family law attorney in Harrisburg on your side. Johnson Duffie’s expert family law attorneys will campaign for the best interests of your family and work tirelessly to get you the outcome you deserve. Call our local office or contact us online today for a confidential conversation.

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