Child Custody in PA
In Pennsylvania, child custody is governed by Title 23, Section 5321, of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.
Pennsylvania does not have any presumption as to who should have custody. Instead, the Courts of Pennsylvania are obligated to consider sixteen different factors in deciding what would be in the best interest of the minor child. (See our custody factors list below).
Actions you can Take
Typically, there are actions you can take to increase the likelihood of obtaining or retaining primary physical custody of your child. To learn more, you need to speak with the experienced attorneys at David K. Lucas & Associates today!
Call us at 800-836-3980, or use our easy-to-complete contact form today.
Custody Decisions in PA are based on:
- Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.
- The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child.
- The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.
- The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life and community life.
- The availability of extended family.
- The child's sibling relationships.
- The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment.
- The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm.
- Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child's emotional needs.
- Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child.
- The proximity of the residences of the parties.
- Each party's availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements.
- The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party's effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party.
- The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party's household.
- The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party's household.
- Any other relevant factor.
Given that each case is different and that the factors listed above will be applied differently in each case, it is very important to discuss these factors with a qualified Attorney.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment to discuss custody, please contact our office at 724-836-3300 or complete our easy-to-use contact form today.