When facing the end of a marriage, parents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere may feel it integral to take every possible measure to safeguard the needs of their children. While in some cases, parents might be able to reach an amicable and acceptable child custody agreement through negotiation, if this fails to work out as planned, it may be up to the court to make the final decision. Those who are preparing for a child custody hearing could benefit from knowing the factors the court will take into consideration, as these might have a significant influence the outcome of the hearing.
Experts indicate that the court considers the interests of the children to be of the utmost importance and will consider address various topics prior to issuing a decision. These topics may include the age of the kids and their relationship with each parent. With children above certain ages, the court may even ask questions about their preferences. The court may also consider it vital to reach a final decision that provides the kids with the most consistency and stability in their lives.
The court may also inquire about each parent’s ability to provide for the basic needs of and care for the children. Another topic the court may address could pertain to the safety of the child, as this factor is typically imperative in nature. If there is an existing arrangement in place and one parent chooses to pursue modifications, the court may also account for various topics, such as how the changes might affect a child’s life or the current visitation schedule.
Preparing for a hearing
With various topics to address and a great deal at stake, preparing for a child custody hearing can be stressful and intimidating under any circumstance. Those who face a similar scenario in life and wish to know how best to prepare for the hearing could choose to retain the services of a family law attorney early on for guidance. In doing so, a person in Pennsylvania may obtain much needed insight in covering every vital topic involving with the child custody hearing process and assistance in preparing to protect the needs and interests of his or her kids during court proceedings.