Child custody is one of the most important matters that Pennsylvania parents may have to deal with when they choose to end their marriages in divorce. Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities that parents retain when their marital relationships end. Custody concerns both the power of a parent to make decisions about their child’s life following their divorce, as well as the right to have the child live with them in their home post-divorce.
When deciding how child custody matters should be resolved, parents and courts can look at many factors to determine how best to support the best interests of the children who will be impacted by their decisions. The best interests’ standard is common throughout the United States, and Pennsylvania courts can evaluate many different pieces of evidence to decide how to subjectively protect the interests of individual children. This general post will provide information about child custody, but readers are reminded that no part of this post provides specific legal advice.
Categories of relevant factors
Courts can make broad considerations about the familial situations of children when they are tasked with deciding child custody matters. They can evaluate the relationships between children and their parents, as well as the relationships between siblings. They can look for instances of abuse or neglect between parents and children, as well as the mental and physical health conditions of the parents and children. In some cases, the preferences of the children are relevant to child custody decisions.
Advocating for a child’s best interests
A parent can be a child’s best advocate when it comes to determining what does and does not serve the child’s interests. With the help of a trusted family law attorney, a parent can put forth a compelling argument to support their child’s needs as well as their own parenting preferences. Though no outcomes can be guaranteed, attorneys can support their clients’ cases with knowledge and representation.