Legislatures across the country are responding to developments in the way Americans view traditional parenting roles. Lobbying efforts from fathers' rights organizations have been at the forefront of a movement to make equal parenting time the starting point for child custody arrangements in divorce litigation. At least 20 state legislatures are considering changes to laws that have historically been interpreted to favor mothers over fathers in custody disputes.
There are misconceptions about divorced fathers not being a significant part of their children's lives after the separation. The truth is that many divorced fathers in Pennsylvania and the rest of nation desire to be actively involved in their children's lives post-divorce. However, it is necessary that they know what to do to obtain the child custody, co-parenting and visitation terms that can help ensure a strong level of involvement.
When divorced parents have shared custody of their children, setting common house rules can often be difficult. However, agreeing on common house rules can make the transition easier for the kids. As such, it is imperative that parents in Pennsylvania attempt to work together to agree on what shared house rules they will have.
Those going through divorce in Pennsylvania might benefit from a child custody model that emphasizes both parents' relationships with the children. Shared parenting, a model that is popular around the world but is just gaining traction in the United States, focuses on providing both parents with equal time and decision-making authority in relation to their children.
The legal parent of a child in Pennsylvania has the right to make decisions for their child. However, those rights may be terminated if a parent breaks the law or otherwise puts his or her child in danger. Furthermore, fathers may lose their rights if they don't establish paternity.
Fewer Pennsylvania fathers may be the sole breadwinner in the family compared to the past, but fathers are spending more time on child care according to a 2015 survey by Pew Research Group. In 1970, the father was the breadwinner in almost half of couples with children, but by 2015, that number had dropped to just over one-quarter. However, fathers in 2015 reported devoting seven hours per week to child care, and this was three times as much as 1965.
For Pennsylvania fathers who are going through a divorce, the thought of losing regular access to their children could provoke a great deal of anguish. However, an increasing number of jurisdictions across the United States now strongly favor shared physical custody arrangements, especially when fathers are seeking it.
Pennsylvania child custody and visitation issues can arise in situations that don't involve the divorce of married parents. Interested parties can sometimes include unmarried parents, grandparents and other relatives who have a significant relationship with the child.
Pennsylvania parents who have an ex-spouse who may be struggling with substance abuse may have concerns about the safety of the children they share. It is important to know what they should do to protect their children and still be in compliance with child custody orders.
Child custody decisions in Pennsylvania and around the country are based on what is considered by family law judges to be in the best interests of the children who are the subject of the matter. Judges take a number of factors into consideration when applying this doctrine, and the wishes of the children involved will generally be one of these factors. In Pennsylvania, judges must consider the well-reasoned opinions of the children involved in custody and visitation disputes based on their maturity and the soundness of their judgment.