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Child Custody Archives

Unmarried fathers may pursue custody and visitation

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 40 percent of children born around the country are born to parents who are not married. This figure was just 18.4 percent about a decade ago according to the public health institute. There is no legal presumption of parenthood when a child is born out of wedlock, so unmarried fathers In Pennsylvania must first establish paternity if they wish to pursue custody or visitation.

Making a parenting schedule

Separated parents in Pennsylvania should understand how important it is to work with their exes when they develop parenting schedules for their children. A well-developed parenting schedule should divide the responsibilities that come with child custody. In addition, it reflects well on the parents if their children are able to see them working together in a positive manner.

How substance abuse can affect child custody

Pennsylvania parents who have ex-spouses with alcohol or drug dependences may have justifiable child custody concerns. While it is important that parents comply with court-mandated child custody scheduling and visitation, there are certain steps they can take to protect their kids from a parent suffering from substance abuse.

About visitation rights

Parents in Pennsylvania who are not granted child custody are usually given visitation rights. In the majority of cases, the courts prefer to have both parents actively involved in the lives of their children even if they determine that the children may be better served residing with one of the parents for the majority of the time. However, parents who are denied custody should understand why and what type of rights they have regarding visitation.

The problems with the child support system

Many Pennsylvania parents struggle to pay child support, especially when they make less than $10,000 a year. According to a study from the Urban Institute, about 70 percent of all child support debt in the U.S. is owed by parents who fit in this category. Even so, the consequences for owing child support can be severe, including jail time.

About paternity

There is more than one reason parents in Pennsylvania should official establish the paternity of their child. In addition to having the right to have a relationship with their father, children can also receive a number of benefits, such as being able to receive child support, Social Security, inheritances or veterans benefits. The children will also receive valuable information about their father's genetic history, which can make them aware about any medical issues they may have inherited.

About custodial parents

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.

Reasons to seek joint legal custody and possible drawbacks

Pennsylvania parents who are getting a divorce will need to reach an agreement regarding child custody, which includes legal as well as physical custody. Legal custody refers to which parent is able to make decisions about major aspects of the child's life, such as religion, education and health care. Legal custody may be joint even if physical custody is not shared.

Victims of abuse may face further methods of control

A victim of spousal abuse may face further confrontations with their abuser in the future. This is because many abusers follow a pattern of controlling behavior. Those with minor children from an abuser should be on guard for a possible custody challenge. Therefore, victims of abuse in Pennsylvania should not hesitate to seek legal and other assistance.

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