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Child Custody Archives

How Pennsylvania awards child custody

When a Pennsylvania court is handling a child custody portion of a divorce proceeding, the primary consideration is the best interests of the child. The court weighs factors that affect the safety of the child, whether the child would require relocation and the child's school situation, among other considerations. In addition to interviewing the child's parents, the court may also speak with the child or a representative of the child to glean information regarding custody and visitation rights.

Understanding the types of child custody and who may apply

Philadelphia parents may be interested in some information about who can apply for child custody and what types of custody are available. Depending on the family situation, different types of custody may be ordered by a court.

Pennsylvania Bar Association distributes video to help children

Pennsylvania parents involved in child custody disputes may be sensitive to the needs of their children, but individuals in the court system do not always have training in how to interview children about potentially difficult subjects. Now, the section of the state bar association that focuses on family law has created a video to educate professionals and others about the best approaches to questioning children in custody cases.

Basketball player doubts results of pre-birth paternity test

If a Pennsylvania married couple conceives a child, the legal presumption will be that the husband is the father of the child. Men who conceive a child out of wedlock may be required to make a showing to a family law court that they did in fact father that child, and men may also request paternity tests if they are trying to establish their rights to child custody or visitation. A pre-birth paternity test determined that Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George fathered a child with a woman whom he met in Florida, but the basketball player is questioning the accuracy of the test.

Fathers rights loophole tightened in new bill

A bill that has passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would make it harder for those who became fathers through rape to have custody or visitation rights to their children. The bill would also enable the mother of a child conceived through rape to ask for financial assistance from the father without granting any further rights to that child. Under current law, a parent is unable to get child support if other parental rights have been terminated.Under state law, if a parent is convicted of rape, that could be used as a basis to deny the custodial or other parental rights of that parent. While the best interest of a child are always taken into consideration when making a child custody decision, it was not until January of 2011 when it officially became part of the process of determining whether or not a parent could provide a safe environment for a child.The bill will now have to be approved by the Senate in Pennsylvania before it can then be signed into law. In addition to the bill being passed in the state, there is a federal version of the bill that would make it significantly harder for rapists to gain custody or visitation rights to the children that they conceived. There are many reasons why a parent may be granted or denied child custody or other parental rights. In the case of conception through rape, a judge may deny custody because it would not be in the best interest of the child to do so. Anyone who wishes to gain sole custody of their child may want to speak to a family law attorney who may be able to review the facts in a given case to help that person potentially have his or her request granted.

Fathers want more than just weekend visits

Though Pennsylvania law is not supposed to favor one gender over the other when it comes to child custody, there are many people who feel as if father's have a more difficult time getting a fair child custody arrangement. Maybe the court believes that a child needs more time with his or her mother. Maybe the court thinks that because the mother was a stay-at-home parent that it is in the child's best interests to stay with the mother. Regardless of why, it is important that fathers, just like mothers, have their parental rights respected when it comes to child custody and support.

Mother fights for fair custody arrangement with her ex

When parents divorce or separate, they have to come up with a child custody arrangement. Unless one parent is unsafe or it is otherwise in the best interests of the children not to spend time with the parent, most parents in Pennsylvania share custody. If, for some reason, one parent is given sole custody of the child, the other parent typically has some kind of rights to visitation, either supervised or unsupervised.

Gay and lesbian parents often get less parenting time

Times are changing in Philadelphia; no longer are gays and lesbians staying in marriages because they are ashamed of coming out. That does not mean, however, that there still aren't gay men and lesbians who don't marry wives and husbands, respectively, only to realize later that they are gay. Oftentimes, these men and women have children with their former spouses, which means that they need to come up with parenting plans that allocates how much custodial time each parent has with a child.

Putting a child up for adoption without the father's consent

When a child is born in Philadelphia, the mother's name is listed on the birth certificate. If the father is present or the mother wishes to name the father, his name will also be included. Some women choose not to name the fathers, precluding them from receiving child support and from the fathers having access to or custody of their children. If no father is listed, authorities need not get the father's consent to give up his parental rights to the child if the mother wishes to put the child up for adoption. What that really means is that mothers need not ask or inform the father of their children that they are putting the children up for adoption.

2.6 million households are headed by single fathers

It is hardly news to people in Bucks County that many marriages will end in divorce. While there are certainly many couples who would much rather be divorced but who will stay together for the children, divorce is also increasingly common among Pennsylvania parents, too. And, with divorce, comes child custody and visitation orders.