Child custody is a concern that comes up frequently during many divorces for both parents. Parents may wonder and have concerns about how child custody will be determined which is why they should be familiar with the approach the family law courts take to child custody in Pennsylvania.
Parents are encouraged to work out a child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. The family law court will do the same by looking at what is in the best interests of the child when determining child custody. Both physical and legal custody of the child will need to be determined and each type of custody can be shared, or joint, custody between the parents or sole custody. What is in the best interests of the child is unique in each situation and is determined based on an evaluation of several factors.
The best interests of the child is the driving force of child custody decisions and is determined based on a consideration of the child’s sibling and extended family relationships; parental duties performed by each parent; which parent is more likely to attend to the child’s needs and nurture a loving relationship with the other parent; the proximity of the residences of the parents; the need to create stability and continuity for the child; the wishes of the child; any history of abuse; and any other relevant factor.
By allowing what is in the best interests of the child to guide child custody decisions, the parents and family law court can help ensure a child custody arrangement that is best for the child and benefits the family. As a result, it is helpful for divorcing parents to be familiar with this process and what to expect as they resolve important concerns such as child custody during their divorce.