Divorces come with many concerns and for divorcing parents, child custody may be one of their main concerns. Familiarity with the child custody process in their state can help parents prepare for what to expect from the child custody process.
Child custody in Pennsylvania
Child custody decisions are made based on what is in the best interests of the child and child custody factors used to guide that determination including:
- The child’s sibling and familial relationships;
- Parenting duties performed by each of the parents;
- The proximity of the residences of the parents;
- If one parent is more likely to attend to the child’s needs and maintain and loving and nurturing relationship with the child;
- If one parent is more likely to turn the child against the other parent;
- The child’s wishes;
- Any history of drug or alcohol abuse;
- The physical conditions of the parents and the members of their household;
- The mental conditions of the parents;
- Any current or past abuse in the household or risk of harm in the household;
- What child custody arrangement will create stability and continuity for the child; and
- Any other factor the family law court deems relevant.
All of these factors will be considered by the family law court to determine a child custody arrangement that is best for the child. Parents should also focus on these considerations when negotiating child custody and a child custody arrangement.
Legal help to resolve child custody issues
In Pennsylvania, physical custody of the child will need to be worked out and can include partial physical custody, shared physical custody or supervised physical custody. These can be difficult decisions for family law courts, and stressful and emotional for parents, which is why it is valuable to understand what child custody decisions are based on as the parents work out a parenting agreement that is in their child’s best interests.