Divorce can take its toll on everyone involved. While you certainly want to get through the process as unscathed as possible, you likely have more concern over how the process will impact your kids. This concern is understandable, as you have major decisions to make regarding child custody.
The terms of a custody agreement can greatly impact the lives of your kids, your life and the other parent’s life. While you may have a particular arrangement that you believe would best suit your situation, the end result may not end up exactly as you desire because many factors could impact the exact terms.
Do you make the decision or does the court?
Some people may think that they will have the final say in the custody terms, and other parents may think that only the court can decide custody arrangements. In reality, it could go either way, but the court must approve the final plan before it can go into effect.
If you want to make the decisions regarding custody, you could do so outside of court. However, you and the other parent will need to work together. A better chance may exist of both of you following the agreement if you both have the ability to provide input. Of course, you do not have to go through this process alone. You can enlist the help of an attorney and other professionals to ensure that your terms will benefit your kids.
When will the court decide?
If you and the other parent cannot work together, one of you wants sole custody, or negotiations do not lead to agreeable terms, a judge will likely need to make the arrangements. You can still give your side as to why you believe that certain terms would work in the best interests of your kids, and the judge may take that information and other factors into consideration.
Because you undoubtedly know that a great deal of your life and your kids’ lives will be affected by the custody outcomes, you may want to gain information on Pennsylvania laws regarding child custody and your legal options. The many aspects of custody and divorce can be complex, so you may also want to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who could provide you with reliable information suited to your case and address any concerns you may have.