Do you and your ex still run into sources of conflict, despite your divorce? Many couples do. If you have kids, it is important to remember that children learn from this behavior. They're like sponges, and they see everything that you do and say, whether you're trying to teach them at the moment or not.
Parental alienation happens when your ex attempts to turn your kids against you. While you have a legal right to see them and be involved in their lives, your ex emotionally manipulates them to take them away from you by making it so they do not even want to see you.
One of the most essential elements to prevailing in a heated child custody battle is being able to show the court how you served as the "primary caretaker" of your children. The primary caretaker is the parent who handled the majority of the child-rearing tasks, and this is the parent who courts tend to favor during a child custody dispute.
Many fathers wrongly assume that they have a disadvantage when it comes to child custody disputes. In fact, if any parent has less of a chance of winning a child custody lawsuit, it probably doesn't have anything to do with gender. What it has everything to with is which parent was more involved in the child's care and upbringing during the marriage.
If there's a battle over who should receive physical child custody, family law courts will usually favor the parent deemed to be the "primary caretaker." The primary caretaker is the parent who predominantly cared for the children, bathed them, fed them, took them to school, put them to bed, took them to the doctor and performed other activities on their behalf.
No two people -- and especially no two children -- are the same. Your child could be calm, physically energetic or emotionally excitable; it all depends on his or her unique temperament. These and other unique characteristics are a joy (and sometimes a challenge) to witness as a parent, and if you're in the process of divorcing your soon-to-be ex-spouse, these characteristics could also affect your child custody and time-sharing arrangements.
As a part of every divorce that involves children, the parents' divorce decree from a family court judge will describe the child custody arrangements. These arrangements will state who the child is living with (the custodial parent), how visitations with the noncustodial parent will occur and how the parents will share decision-making about raising the child.
Family law courts used to believe that children were best raised by their mothers. In this respect, barring extreme circumstances like addiction, abuse or criminal behavior, the courts tended to view the primary caretaker of the children to be the mother by default, and they would give preference to the mother during child custody disputes.
Pennsylvania family court judges have the supreme responsibility to protect the best interests of the children affected by their court ruling. Children are the future leaders of our communities. They are also innocent and require the protection of adults. As such, the family court system is structured in such a way as to protect them.
You probably have a firm idea of what your child's best interests are. Your ex probably has his or her ideas about your child's best interests too. A Pennsylvania family law court will also have a perspective on the matter. Ultimately, if you're in the throes of a child custody disagreement that goes to court, you'll need to align your perspective with the viewpoint of the court if you want to succeed in your case.