Whenever a Pennsylvania court is presented with the question of child custody in divorce proceedings, the court will also seek to decide the matter in favor of the children’s best interest. When evaluating what is truly in the best interest of the children, courts will look at a variety of important factors.
First, courts recognize the importance of continuity and sustainability in children’s educational, communal and familial lives. Whichever parent is capable of providing the most stable arrangements in this regard will likely be favored in custody proceedings; therefore, when presenting arguments before the court, parents may wish to highlight why they are more capable of providing this kind of sustainability and continuity to the court.
Second, courts will tend to favor whichever parent is more likely to allow continued and frequent contact between the children and the other parent. Courts in Pennsylvania generally recognize the vital nature of children having both parents present in their lives; therefore, they will favor the parent who supports this kind of supportive environment for his or her children.
Thirdly, courts will take a look at the kinds of parental duties performed by each parent prior to the child custody dispute, in addition to both parents’ current availability to care for the children. They do this to establish which parent has historically played the role of primary caregiver, and which will be most available to continue caring for the child in the future.
At Palange, Endres & Marks, PC, we recognize that no two Pennsylvania families are the same. As such, no two divorce or child custody disputes are the same. Each will require a uniquely crafted custody solution to suit the individual characteristics of the family involved.