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Child Custody Archives

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.

Custodial interference threatens parent-child bond

For many divorced or separated parents in Berks County, custodial interference may represent their greatest fear as their former partner attempts to drive a wedge between parent and child. When a child is kept from one of their parents due to a dispute between the adults and absent a situation of abuse or neglect, it can have serious consequences for the child's physical and psychological well-being. This is one reason why a systematic, ongoing attempt to undermine a parent's custodial relationship with their child can rise to the level of a criminal offense in some cases.

Issues that are considered in child custody decisions

When matters of child custody are decided in courts in Pennsylvania, judges take many factors into consideration. Doing what is best for the child is always the goal, so consideration will be given to living conditions, the financial situations of the parents, relationships with siblings and the stability of the parents' jobs and lifestyles.

How fathers can gain child custody

Pennsylvania fathers who want custody of their children may find that they are at a legal disadvantage. For generations, mothers were automatically considered to be the parent that could properly raise the children during their formative years. As a result, courts tended to rule in the mother's favor during custody disputes. However, fathers do have rights, and they can take certain steps to improve their chances of obtaining custody of their children.

Myths about shared parenting

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.

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