Fathers' Custody Rights
When a Pennsylvania Court decides custody it must consider what is in the best interest of the minor children. The Court is prohibited from favoring one sex over the other in arriving at its decision. For this reason, it is very important for all fathers to understand that they start a custody case on equal footing with the mother. It is also important to have an experienced custody attorney who is familiar with the custody laws of Pennsylvania.
20 years ago, it was customary to see Orders where mothers were granted primary physical custody of the minor children and fathers were granted partial physical custody every other weekend and a day during the week. This was always a pretty typical Order issued by the Court. In recent times, the Courts have recognized that mothers are not to be given an initial preference. It is much more common for joint and shared custody Orders to be ordered by the Court. Obviously, certain circumstances need to be put into place to ensure shared and joint custody. It is also important for the parties to be able to communicate with one another in order to obtain this type of Order. Most important is that the claim for joint/shared custody be filed as soon as possible. The Courts do tend to maintain the status quo. In the event that a father waits too long to file his petition for shared/joint custody, he could find that it becomes more difficult to obtain.
If you have questions concerning fathers' custody rights in a divorce, call our office at 724-216-6433 or contact us via email on the "contact us" page.