A judge or a custodial parent may deny visitation rights to a Pennsylvania noncustodial parent. A judge might do so if the child appears to be in danger with the parent, but it is otherwise unusual. A judge might also order supervised visitation in which the parent can only see the child with someone else present. Parents in either of these situations should comply with any court orders, such as a requirement to attend parenting classes, and they may want to speak with an attorney.
Divorced parents in Pennsylvania can take advantage of the new school year as a time to help children also deal with the transition of their new family situation. They may want to talk to their children about the year ahead and their goals. While this may include academic goals, it is also important to acknowledge relationships, extracurricular activities and jobs for older children.
Divorced or unmarried parents in Pennsylvania must establish a schedule for shared child custody or visitation. A court will determine which parent qualifies as the custodial parent and when the children have time with the noncustodial parent. People naturally feel under pressure when access to their children is concerned, and they should prepare to answer specific questions from the judge.
Making co-parenting work can present some unique challenges for former spouses in Pennsylvania, some of which may be less of an issue if the best interests of the child are kept in mind. Parents are often advised to acknowledge the importance of the other parent in the child's life. Discouraging a child from talking about that parent or disparaging them may create unnecessary emotional issues or cause a child to identify more with the alienated parent.
As part of the divorce process, Pennsylvania parents will need to create a schedule for child custody and visitation. This parenting schedule should be created with the child's needs prioritized over the parents'.
Some fathers may not keep up child support payments because they cannot afford the amount ordered and they are unaware that it is possible to get modifications made. A documentary by the filmmaker Rel Dowdell, "Where's Daddy?", examines the child support system and its affect on African-American fathers in particular. Dowdell interviewed a number of fathers in Pennsylvania to find out what their experience had been in this regard.
Pennsylvania parents who are getting a divorce might wonder whether shared parenting might be too disruptive for their children, but research shows that this is not the case. Studies indicate that as long as there are no serious issues such as abuse or neglect, after divorce, children benefit most from joint physical custody.
Parents in Pennsylvania who are getting a divorce should be aware that there are multiple arrangements available regarding child custody. It is important that they understand what their options are before agreeing to child custody terms that are unfair.
When Pennsylvania parents of young children decide to file for divorce, this can be a difficult time. Divorcing spouses may be committed in principle and in their hearts to the best interests of their children, but animosity and tensions that arise through the process can add to an already-stressful situation. However, working together to develop a co-parenting plan can be an important part of fostering a close relationship between the children and both of their parents after a divorce.
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.