If you’re a parent currently going through a divorce, your top priority is most likely being able to continue raising and parenting your child. That said, courts consider a wide variety of factors when determining a child custody agreement. Continue reading and contact the skilled Pennsylvania child custody lawyers from Berman Voss to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean?
In Pennsylvania, family courts prioritize the child’s best interests above all when determining custody arrangements. Berman Voss attorneys understand that this fundamental principle guides every aspect of custody-related legal proceedings. Central to this principle is ensuring the child’s safety and well-being, a factor that resonates deeply with the court’s ethos.
How Do Courts Assess Parental Roles and Responsibilities?
Judges meticulously evaluate each parent’s ability to fulfill their role effectively. In assessing this, they consider numerous elements, each carrying substantial weight. These factors include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- Each Parent’s Living Situation: Courts examine the stability and safety of each parent’s home environment.
- Parent-Child Relationships: The strength and nature of each parent’s bond with the child are critically analyzed.
- Child’s Preference: If of suitable age and maturity, the child’s preference may significantly influence the court’s decision.
- Parents’ Mental and Physical Health: This assessment ensures parents can meet the child’s needs effectively.
- Siblings and Other Household Members: The presence of siblings and their living arrangements can impact custody decisions.
- Each Parent’s Willingness to Foster a Relationship with the Other Parent: This factor is vital for promoting a healthy, balanced upbringing.
- History of Domestic Violence or Abuse: Any history of abuse is a critical factor in the court’s decision-making process.
- Child’s Educational and Social Needs: A parent’s ability to support these needs is a key consideration.
- Parent’s Employment Responsibilities: The court assesses how each parent’s work commitments might affect their parenting time.
- Any Special Needs of the Child: Courts give special consideration to any unique medical, emotional, or educational needs of the child.
What Other Factors Influence the Court’s Decision in Child Custody Cases?
Besides the primary factors listed above, judges often consider ancillary issues. These may include extended family relationships, the child’s adjustment to their community and school, and any potential impact of a change in custody. Berman Voss attorneys are adept at navigating these complex considerations, advocating for solutions that serve the child’s best interests.
If you have further questions or need assistance with any family law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact the team here at Berman Voss today.