Divorce can be hard on children, which is why parents in Pennsylvania typically do their best to prioritize their children throughout this difficult process. One of the ways that parents accomplish this is by focusing on creating the best possible child custody agreement. Child custody agreements should always focus on what is in the best interests of the child, and in some situations that might include taking a parent’s income into account.
What are a child’s best interests?
Determining a child’s best interests is essential for creating a child custody agreement. There are a lot of things that parents and judges should take into account, including the child’s preferences if he or she is old enough. Other factors to consider include:
- Both parents’ stability
- Childcare arrangements
- Which parent was the primary caretaker
- Both parents’ mental and physical health
- Educational opportunities
- Where a child’s siblings live
Does income matter?
Income is an important factor in figuring out child and spousal support orders. However, in some situations it might also affect child custody arrangements. A parent who is unemployed and homeless would likely have a smaller chance of getting custody. However, income is unlikely to play a role if that parent is unemployed because he or she was the primary caretaker. Judges typically take stay at home parent’s ability to earn income in the future into account, as well as child and spousal support payments.
One of the most important things a parent can do when asking for custody is to show that he or she is an involved, stable and supportive parent. This does not mean that a parent needs to have a big paycheck or a large house, but it is important to note that in some cases income might play a role in custody proceedings. Pennsylvania parents who are eager to ensure that child custody truly reflects their children’s best interests are well advised to seek out the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help guide them through this process.