In Pennsylvania, custody is awarded based on what is deemed best for the child. This could mean that you share joint custody with your ex-spouse and are given a parenting schedule of the days or weeks that each of you is going to care for your child. It's also possible that one parent will get full custody and the other parent will be given visitation time, which refers to particular days that he or she spends time with the child.
A judge's role in making a custody decision is to consider what is best for the child. Unless there is a question of safety, spending time with both parents is considered beneficial to a child's growth and well-being.
A judge will account for several factors, including location of residences, the child's relationship to each parent and each parent's ability to care for the child.
Pennsylvania also takes children's wishes into consideration when they are old enough. Your children will not have the final say in a custody arrangement, but the judge will account for their desires.
If you and your spouse can decide your own custody arrangements, a judge can give approval to the arrangement, allowing you to set your own terms based on your particular family situation.
Every custody arrangement is going to be unique to each family. At the law firm of Jaclyn M. Nichols Attorney at Law, we are always cognizant of what your child is going through and what your concerns are regarding custody. We will do everything we can to protect your parenting rights.
For a free, one-on-one consultation with our lawyer, please call 814-485-2120 or us. Our office is in Somerset, and we serve western Pennsylvania.