Children’s best interests are a primary concern in a divorce and should be the central focus of all proceedings. If a Pennsylvania parent has specific concerns leading up to settlement, it is a good idea to speak with someone who is well-versed in all aspects of family law in this state. If the parents disagree about certain child custody issues, things can get messy in court. Children fare best in divorce when they are protected as much as possible from being to exposed to parental conflict, although it’s sometimes difficult to avoid conflict if one parent refuses to cooperate or disregards court orders.
Child custody proceedings include several main categories, such as physical custody and legal custody of children. The latter refers to decision-making authority, while the former typically refers to where your children will live after you finalize your divorce. Issues regarding child support are also part of custody proceedings. The court may act at its discretion under state guidelines to make orders regarding support payments, including the amount and means by which payments are to be made.
Are you planning to request sole custody of your children?
In most cases, Pennsylvania family court judges believe it’s best for children to have a shared custody arrangement after their parents’ divorce. However, you may have legitimate cause to request sole custody of your children. This is especially true if you have evidence to show that your ex has a substance abuse problem or is abusive or neglectful toward your children. A judge must be convinced that a parent’s behavior or presence would be an impediment to a child’s well-being or would pose a safety risk.
Ways to achieve a peaceful and amicable settlement
If you have no troubling concerns regarding shared child custody, the primary goal is then to achieve a fair settlement in a peaceful manner. Seeking consultation with an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney ahead of time may help to expedite proceedings and accomplish your goals. Leeth & Gaglione are dedicated to providing strong support throughout child custody proceedings and all aspects related to divorce and provide a free initial consultation for your convenience, which you can schedule via the contact form located on our website. Divorce changes children’s lives, but it doesn’t have to ruin them. By being proactive to protect your rights and their best interests, you can make sure your children’s needs are met as you adapt to a new lifestyle together.