Pennsylvania parents who have been designated as custodial parents will have physical custody of their children for most of the time. As a custodial parent, these parents shoulder the majority of the legal responsibility for their children's upbringing, regardless of the degree of involvement of the non-custodial parent.
It is important not to assume that every parent who has sole physical custody of the children are the legal custodial parent. In one example, if a single parent is raising a child alone with no assistance or involvement from the other parent, the single parent may have to petition the court for child custody in order to be legally designated as the custodial parent. For parents who are not certain if they are the legal custodial parent, they should review the child custody laws in the state in which they reside and consult with a family law attorney.
There are many benefits to being the custodial parent. One benefit is having more personal time with one's children, even if the other parent has a busy visitation schedule. Custodial parents will be able to see their children on a regular basis, assist with homework, cater to their interests and have an active part in their daily activities.
In many cases, custodial parents may be able to obtain child support. The amount of money each parent takes home, the child support guidelines in the state in which the child resides are all factors in their eligibility.
A family law attorney may advise parents about which legal strategy should be used to resolve disputes regarding child custody. The attorney may recommend litigation or mediation if negotiations break down.