There is a lot that divorcing parents have to consider when facing divorce, and child custody is one of them. Legal resources are available to help divorcing couples prepare for the divorce process and guide them through it.
When establishing a parenting agreement in Pennsylvania, the court will look at what is in the best interests of the child. Determining what is in the best interests of the child is guided by an evaluation of a variety of factors. The court will consider the child's familial relationships; the location of the child; the child's wishes; and the mental and physical condition of the parties when determining child custody in Pennsylvania.
Some other specific considerations the court will evaluate include: the child's relationships with extended family and siblings; the proximity of the residences of the parents; what arrangement provides the best overall stability and continuity for the child; which parent is more attentive to the child's needs and is most likely to maintain a positive relationship between the child and the other parent; any history of abuse; and other relevant factors as determined by the court.
In general, joint custody is favored for child custody, provided both parents are determined to be competent caregivers. Above all else, the court will seek to ensure the safety and overall well-being of the child when making child custody decisions. There are different types of child custody and visitation arrangements, so it is helpful for divorcing parents to know what those are.
The child custody process can feel overwhelming, which is why the family law process provides important resources to help parents. The family court will help divorcing parents develop a child custody plan that is in the best interests of their child.