What Affects Pennsylvania Child Custody?

When it comes to child custody, the well-being of the child is a top priority. Working with a qualified law firm with a passion for family law can help you make the best choices for your family. Here are a few things you should know if you're looking for the best way to create a child custody arrangement in the state of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Child Custody

Determining child custody is an emotionally taxing aspect of the divorce process. The child's basic needs, education, and health are taken into account to determine custody. Custody arrangements also dictate where the child will spend holidays and special occasions.

In Pennsylvania, there are several factors that affect a child custody decision. A child's current education is discussed, and the child should stay with the parent who can provide the best academic opportunities. The mental and emotional well-being of each parent is also assessed; children deserve to live with the parent who can consistently provide the best mental, physical, and emotional care.

If a parent has a history of drug abuse, physical abuse, or alcohol dependence, this parent will likely not be awarded primary custody of the child. However, if the parent has shown signs of improvement, visitation rights can be adjusted as the parent becomes more qualified to spend time with the child. A Pennsylvania judge will also evaluate whether a parent has criminal charges and will use this information to determine if the child would be safe living with that parent. Judges also look into the behavioral history of both parents to see if either parent has exhibited violent or abusive behavior toward the child or another family member.

Of course, the Pennsylvania courts also consider the wishes of the child. Lawyers and judges look to see that the child has a genuine relationship with one or both parents. Lawyers and counselors may also talk to the child about which parent they would prefer to live with, and older children can prepare a statement for court to give their input for the custody decision. By putting the child first, parents and the Pennsylvania legal system can come up with a custody solution that is best for the entire family.

Child Custody Issues? We’re Here to Help

The child custody process can be difficult and emotionally taxing. Hiring a qualified family law attorney can make things easier. Our Pennsylvania family law attorneys are well-versed in this area of law and we’re here to help you.


If you need help with the child custody process, contact O’Malley Law Office, LLC at (570) 391-0866 for a free consultation with our team.