Child custody is often a critical part of two Pennsylvania parents’ divorce. It can, though, be an important issue for unmarried parents as well. When courts are asked to evaluate the how and with whom children will live and be raised, they must assess subjective factors that support the children’s best interests.
This post emphasizes that one child’s best interests can be greatly different than those of another child’s best interests. The contents of this post will examine the subjective factors that can be weighed to determine how best to assign the custodial roles of parents. No part of this post should be interpreted as case-specific guidance.
Best interest factors: An overview
All families are different and experience different events in their collective lives. Those experiences can change how family members interact and what roles they take on within their family units. When it comes to child custody, those roles, interactions, and experiences are all relevant to determine how best to serve a specific child’s interests. The following are some of the factors that courts review to make child custody decisions:
- The child’s development
- The child’s relationship with siblings and their parents
- The child’s wishes regarding custody
- The parents’ health and ability to care for the child
With such broad considerations, readers can see how different families will have different outcomes when their child custody matters are heard.
What child custody looks like after the hearing
Once a court has decided how to balance the needs and interests of a child, it will order a child custody arrangement for the child’s parents to follow. That arrangement can give the parents different rights and responsibilities. How the court determines what types of roles the parents will have will be based on its findings during the evaluation of the child’s best interests.
Child custody matters can be delicate and complicated. They can be hard for parents to work through while managing their own divorce or other legal issues. The support of a dedicated family law lawyer can make a difference for men and women who want what is best for their kids.