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How does Pennsylvania decide child custody?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Family Law

Custody issues for divorcing parents are one of the most stressful aspects of an already taxing process. Parents want to maintain a good relationship with their children, but the prospect of splitting parenting time is frightening.

According to Pennsylvania Legislature’s Child Custody Chapter, several forms of child custody exist. To learn more about how the court determines the best arrangement for the child, continue reading.

Parenting history

One of the factors a court considers is how each parent performs their parenting duties. If one parent has a history of neglecting the child’s needs, the court will likely award sole custody to the other parent.

Cooperation between parents

Besides the ability to meet the child’s needs, the court examines whether one parent might be more willing to maintain contact between the other parent and the child. The judge does not want to award custody to one party, only to have them isolate them from their ex-spouse. Courts look for cooperation between parents, which factors significantly into their decision.

Ability to meet the child’s needs

A parent might have all the resources to take care of the child but not the time. If the father worked full time and the mother cared for the child, a court may decide to keep the child’s residence with their mother.

Criminal history

The court also examines the parents’ criminal history. Past convictions do not mean it is impossible to gain custody of the child, but it certainly makes it more difficult.

This is only a brief overview of how Pennsylvania determines child custody. Your best course of action is to remain cooperative with your ex-spouse and act in your child’s best interest.