You and your spouse make the difficult decision to end your marriage through the Pennsylvania divorce process. You have children together, and it is incredibly important for you to understand how a judge will determine custody rights for you and your spouse. Determining custody constitutes an important decision in your and your spouse’s lives as a separated couple, yet the most affected parties will be your children.
Knowing how a judge determines custody during a divorce helps prepare you for potential outcomes in custody. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney can help you in filing all documents timely and have access to accurate advice in terms of your separation agreement.
How will a judge review a custody case?
In Pennsylvania, when determining custody of your children, a judge will keep the best interests of your individual children in mind. The health and safety of your children lies at the top of the list of priorities for a judge, but judges will also determine your child’s ability to adapt to a new lifestyle.
A judge will consider the following factors when determining custody, as well as any other family detail that may help a judge come to a fair conclusion.
- Whether any abuse is present in the relationship between the parents or the children
- Which duties you and your spouse were respectively responsible for in children’s upbringing
- Your ability to financially support your children
- Whether one spouse is likely to restrict relationships between the children and the other spouse
- How old your children are and their ability to adjust to a new schedule
- Your and your spouse’s mental and physical health
- Whether one spouse has a better ability to provide parental care and support
- Where you and your spouse will intend to live
- Whether you and your spouse are hostile or amicable
Pennsylvania court has the opportunity to review past criminal records, interview children and determine whether both parents will ensure the safety and security of their children. Should you find yourself filing for divorce involving child custody, it is essential that you seek the expertise of an attorney, so you can offer yourself the best representation during custody rights proceedings in Pennsylvania.