Pennsylvania parents seeking advice about child custody case may frequently hear the phrase “best interests of the children.” This is the standard judges typically rely on when making determinations about child custody, such as which parent should be granted primary custody of the children and conditions regarding visitation for the non-custodial parent. Joint custody orders are becoming more common in all states.
Research shows that children thrive best after divorce in a shared parenting situation. This does not include instances where there has been abuse or neglect in the past. However, there are many misconceptions surrounding joint custody, despite what research has shown.
For example, one common misconception is that children prefer to spend most of their time with one parent. Another common idea is that mothers are the primary attachment figure in most cases and therefore in a better position to care for particularly young kids.
Lots of people also believe that joint custody only works when there is little conflict between the parents. In many cases, a shared parenting arrangement can actually reduce much of the conflict between the parents. This is often true even if the arrangement was court ordered by a judge.
An attorney experienced in family law may be able to assist a client who is facing a custody dispute. The lawyer could negotiate a favorable settlement agreement and help the client avoid the stress and costs of litigation. If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, an attorney may present arguments to a judge regarding why the client should have primary custody of the children or why the parties should share joint custody.