Pennsylvania Child Custody

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

In Pennsylvania, like many other states, the child custody laws have guidelines for the courts and judges to ensure that custody is given in the best interest of the children and that continued contact will still exist between both parents and the children when it is possible. The law in Pennsylvania does not give an exact definition as to the meaning of in the child’s best interest but the guidelines set forth should aid them in awarding the suitable parent to be awarded custody or if joint custody is feasible. The factors that are used include:

* The fitness and character of the both parents.

* The home environment of both parents.

* The relationship each parents has with the children.

* The parenting skills of each parent.

* The capability of each parent to care for their children, physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

Instead of choosing the mother like the courts use to do in Pennsylvania, the custody of the children is being given more often to the main caretaker of the younger children. Many times, this is still the mother, because normally the father works outside the home and the mother cares for the younger children.

Grandparents also have rights in the decision in child custody manners. Grandparents have the right to petition the court to awarded visitation with their grandchildren and even custody is some cases. But, there must not be any type of problems between the parents and the grandchildren in order for this to happen. The court does not wish to interfere with the relationship that the parent has with their children.

In Pennsylvania, joint or shared custody is preferred by the courts and is usually found to be in the best interest of the children unless there is evidence of domestic abuse in the home. This type of custody gives the children the comfort they need and the assurance that both parents love them and are there for them. They remain close in contact and visits, giving the children access to each parent. The time spent and how the decisions will be made regarding the issues that arise with the children is usually submitted in a parenting plan. This plan is written by the parents and will explain if they will seek counseling to help them learn to cooperate and communicate when it comes to the best interest of their children. With this type of custody the parents can create a type of visitation schedule where they both with have more contact with the children.

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