How child custody in determined in Pennsylvania
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How child custody in determined in Pennsylvania

| Nov 3, 2020 | child custody

Child custody can be difficult to sort through during any divorce as emotions run high between divorcing parents. Divorcing parents, and the family law court, all want to do what is best for the child which is why child custody determinations are based on what is in the best interests of the child.

Child custody factors used to determine child custody

The best interests of the child is determined according to an evaluation of several factors including:

  • Creating stability and continuity for the child;
  • The child’s sibling and extended family relationships;
  • The location of the child and the proximity of the parents’ residences;
  • The physical and mental conditions of the parents;
  • Any history of mental illness or drug or alcohol abuse;
  • The parenting duties performed by each of the parents;
  • If one parent is more likely to attend to the child’s needs, maintain a nurturing and loving relationship with the child and support the child’s relationship with the other parent;
  • Any history of abuse;
  • The child’s wishes; and
  • Any other relevant factor.

The family law court uses these factors to determine what child custody arrangement would be best for the child’s physical, mental, emotional and developmental well-being. Any child custody arrangement should be based on ensuring the overall well-being and safety of the child.

These factors are used to guide both the family law court to arrive at a child custody arrangement that is best for the child. For that reason, it is helpful for divorcing parents to be familiar with how child custody decisions are made with a focus on the child and what is best for them.