When parents in Pennsylvania decide to divorce or separate, it can be a challenging transition to co-parenting. Even when parents have had conflicts in their personal relationship, co-parenting requires them to find a way to work together to put the best interests of their children first. A parenting plan can help to deal with scheduling as well as key agreements for the children's development. Of course, setting a child custody schedule can vary widely depending on the age of the child. Babies and toddlers may rely strongly on a primary caregiver but still need extensive time with the other parent in order to help the parent-child bond develop.
When parents in Pennsylvania decide to divorce or break up, they may face a particularly challenging issue when it comes to determining custody of the children. In most cases, courts want children to have both parents as an active part of their upbringing, so long as there is no abuse or neglect involved. Therefore, a growing number of family courts prefer joint or shared custody, or, where this is not possible, primary custody with extensive visitation rights. In many cases, parents are encouraged to work together to develop a custody agreement and parenting plan for the court's approval.
Some Pennsylvania fathers may be afraid that they will face bias in family court when it comes to child custody. Indeed, some people stay in bad relationships because they are concerned about the legal and financial consequences of divorce, including child custody. For parents, spending more time away from their children may always be difficult. However, modern approaches to family law tend to strongly favor some form of joint custody or extensive visitation as long as there is no history of abuse or neglect. After all, studies have repeatedly affirmed that children benefit from a close relationship with both of their parents.
Pennsylvania fathers who are going through a divorce might wonder whether they will be at a disadvantage in family court if there is a custody dispute. This was often the case in the past, when the practice was usually to award custody to mothers with the assumption that fathers would continue working outside the home to support them. However, this has changed over the years.
Claims of sexual abuse are taken very seriously in Pennsylvania child custody cases. In response, an accused parent may refute the claims and say that the other parent is trying to manipulate the child. This is sometimes called parental alienation.
If a Pennsylvania parent has concerns about his or her children's safety during visitation with the other parent, he or she should discuss the concerns with the attorney and the court. The court usually investigates allegations of abuse before granting any parent custody, though it should be noted that there could be repercussions when making allegations of abuse.
When a family court decides who is going to get custody of a child, they consider a variety of factors. The first is parenting ability, meaning how well each parent is able to satisfy the physical and emotional needs of their children. Next, courts try to maintain as consistent of an environment routine for the child as possible. They also factor in safety and the child's age. Accounting for these factors is commonly known in courts in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country as the child's best interest standard.
Abduction of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, some divorced parents endure the additional nightmare of an international parental child abduction.
While many people in Pennsylvania expect to consider child custody only in the case of divorce, emergency situations could bring custody matters to the surface in unrelated cases. The escalated immigration enforcement actions against undocumented people -- and alsome documented immigrants -- have led to children being left in the hands of grandparents and other family members if their parents are deported. Since the children in question are often U.S. citizens, their parents may want them to remain behind.
If a parent in Pennsylvania seeks sole physical custody during a divorce but a judge decides to grant joint custody, the parent may struggle with that decision. However, there are some advantages to sharing custody. Parents may remind themselves of these advantages, and in some cases, they might even consider sharing custody as a result.