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.
Pennsylvania parents may ask the family court to modify their current child custody arrangements if they believe that they have valid reasons. However, people should be aware that the court will closely examine the petitioning parents' arguments and is always obligated to make decisions based on the best interests of the children.
Pennsylvania parents who are ending their marriages and who want custody of their children might want to first try to compromise with each other. Court custody battles can be lengthy, expensive and stressful. If parents can avoidthem by agreeing to joint custody or finding another solution, they may be more satisfied with the outcome. However, if this is not possible, there are things a parent can do to prepare for a fight over custody.
Pennsylvania movie fans may be interested to learn that, on March 7, actress Scarlett Johansson filed for divorce from her French husbad. The two announced that they had separated in January after less than two years of marriage. They have a 2-year-old daughter together.
Pennsylvania parents who are ending their marriage might be concerned about how their children will react to the situation. If possible, parents should be together when they talk to their children about it. Primarily, they should reassure their children that they are loved. When children have questions, parents should answer in a way that promotes a sense of security.
Pennsylvania couples who are divorcing and who have young children will need to put together a parenting agreement that address child custody and visitation as well as other aspects of parenting. Issues included in the parenting agreement may include what kind of contact the child will have with relatives and other third parties, how the child will spend holidays and how to handle conflicts. Parents may also include more detailed information in the agreement.
When two Pennsylvania parents are ending their relationship, whether or not they are married, it can be difficult for them to come to a parenting agreement. While some eventually do so, others petition the court for help.
Even the most acrimonious of divorcing couples in Pennsylvania may be able to lay their disagreements to rest during child custody and visitation discussions. While divorcing parents often have very different ideas about what is fair when they talk about property division or alimony, they are generally able to accept that they both want what is best for their children. For most couples, shielding their children from the emotional fallout of the divorce is a top priority.