As a parent, you have already faced many challenges while raising your child. Divorce brings its own unique set of hurdles to life, though. As a parent, you will need to prioritize things like child custody and support to ensure that you are still supporting your child’s best interests.
Is joint custody automatic?
As more and more parents opt for joint custody, many people have fallen under the impression that Pennsylvania family law starts with a presumption of joint custody. This is not the case. Parents have many different options for custody, joint being one of them.
Should I go to court?
Whether you feel strongly about sharing custody 50/50 or have another preference, staying out of court is often easier for everyone involved. Parents are often required to utilize mediation for child custody before ever attending a hearing. Although the idea of working together to create a custody agreement with your ex may seem difficult, many parents find it preferable to leaving the decision up to a judge. Judges can be biased and may make decisions that you and your ex might not be happy with. Factors that most judges take into account when making a child custody decision include your:
- Ability to provide a nurturing and stable environment
- Physical and mental health
- Ability to provide financially
- Ability to cooperate with your ex
- Child’s preference
Ultimately, you and your child’s other parent are probably the two people who are most familiar with what is best for your child. It would make sense that you two are also probably the most well equipped to make a decision regarding child custody. This does require some forethought and preparation on your part though, which you can learn more about by visiting our Pennsylvania family law website.