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What factors can affect child custody decisions in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Child Custody, Divorce |

Child custody is often a complex topic during divorce proceedings. Sometimes, the divorcing couple has differing opinions on their child’s welfare, causing conflicts. When the parties cannot agree regarding arrangements for their child, the court could interfere and decide for them.

However, the judge cannot decide based solely on what the divorcing couple wants. They advocate for the child in these situations, reviewing varying considerations before settling issues. Typically, the court uses the following factors as bases for child custody decisions:

  • Potential hurdles for the noncustodial parent and child to maintain contact
  • Each parent’s contributions to caring for the child
  • Stability and continuity of child’s family, personal and school life
  • The child’s connections with other family members
  • Relationships between the child and their siblings
  • Each party’s ability to provide a nurturing and loving home
  • The parent’s capacity to meet the child’s needs, including childcare
  • Location of each parent’s residence
  • Family dynamics that could impact the child’s welfare
  • Physical and mental welfare of the parents and the child
  • Risks of one parent turning the child against the other party
  • The child’s wishes based on their age and maturity
  • Other threats, including violence and abuse

Additionally, the court must maintain fairness and impartiality while determining what is best for the child.

Determining the child’s best interests depend on the situation

Child custody decisions take work to finalize. Sometimes, the case could have complications, requiring more thorough evaluations and reviews. The court could order to collect more details about the family’s situation before deciding what is appropriate.

The court has the final say regarding the child’s custody despite the divorcing couple’s conflicting wishes. Each party might have their own beliefs about how to raise their child. However, the judge must settle these matters fairly while prioritizing the child’s best interests.