Among the many societal shifts in recent decades that have occurred include the increasing role of fathers in their children’s lives. Many dads in Pennsylvania today might indicate that they are more active in their kids’ daily lives than their own fathers were with them when they were children. This positive change has opened the door to some change when it comes to assigning custody of children in a divorce.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly indicates that an award made by a court for the custody of one or more children in a divorce case should not factor in the gender of either parent. Instead the focus should be on which parent may provide the best environment for the children in question regardless of whether that parent is male or female. In some cases, this may result in an award for joint custody.
There are seven different types of custody delineations a court may make, two of which pertain to legal custody and the remaining five which pertain to physical custody. Legal custody may be joint or sole. Physical custody may also be joint or sole but can also be awarded as supervised, partial or primary.
The Pew Charitable Trusts explain that some states are legally mandating a preference for joint custody barring situations in which abuse or other factors may be an issue. This trend is in response to the desire to allow dads to remain active in their children’s lives even after a divorce. Pennsylvania has no such law in place.