The child custody laws in Pennsylvania are designed to address who gets the child custody, visitation rights of the non-custodial parent, and many other related concerns. There are mainly two types of child custody – legal custody and physical custody. Both are further divided into sole custody, primary custody, and joint custody.
The court determines who gets the custody of the child based on many factors so that the ruling is in the best interest of the child. If the parents cannot provide an appropriate parenting agreement in the court at the time of divorce, then the court will issue a controlling order to settle the matter. We at the Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer firm work to understand your needs when you are filing a divorce petition, and provide the best solution for child custody that will not affect your relationship with your kid(s) in any way. We can also negotiate with your partner out of court to settle on a suitable parenting agreement so that there is no argument for that when the divorce is processed.
Legal custody refers to a parent’s right and responsibility to make the decisions for a minor child regarding things like his/her health, education, and welfare. In most cases, legal custody is awarded to both the parents after divorce unless there is a valid reason for the court to not do so. Legal custody is not dependent on who retains the physical custody of the child.
Physical custody refers to whom the child will live after the divorce. It is often one of the most contested aspects of any divorce case, even in mutual consent divorces. If the parents cannot settle on where their kid(s) will live, then the court will declare a ruling based on the needs and requirements of the child. One of the parents will retain the custody of the kid(s) and the other will have visitation rights to ensure parental contact and support for the physical, mental, emotional, and developmental well-being of the child.
The court also considers factors like family relationships, mental and physical condition of the parents, and the personal wishes of the child when determining child custody. The Pennsylvania state follows a gender-neutral approach to child custody, which works to ensure that each of the parents gets fair custody rights to their child. If both the parents are deemed capable caregivers, then joint custody can also be directed.
Once the court has issued the child custody order, it will govern the allocation of custody for the custodial parent as well as the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. The judge will also explain the reasons for the order and may even include safety requirements for the child if any risk of harm is found. The court may even include certain conditions for the custodial parent to get the child custody rights, such as drug tests. The court order may also have provisions for the visitations from grandparents and great-grandparents.
Child custody matters can be emotionally as well as legally challenging. That is why you should have the Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer team on your side to make the process go as smoothly as possible. If your child is not under age of 18 then court take your child in custody for days when case is not over between partners. Contact us now for a quick consultation!