Things to Consider When Children Are Involved

When you have children, your relationship with your spouse does not end with the final decree. You will have continued contact with your spouse about support, visitation, and other parental responsibilities. For the sake of your children, keep open the lines of communication with your spouse. Your goal should be that your children are not the losers.

Custody of minor children consists of two distinct concepts, decision making and timesharing. Both or one of the parents may be responsible for making decisions affecting the children. Timesharing refers to the amount of time each parent will spend with the children.

Factors in Determining Custody

The court determines custody in Pennsylvania based on what it believes to be the best interests of the children. The court considers all relevant factors, some of which include:

-The relationships of the child with his parents, siblings, and any other

person who may significantly affect the child,

-The mental and physical health of all individuals involve,

-The ability and willingness of each parent to care for the children,

-The wishes of the parents,

-The respect each parent accords for parental rights of the other parent,

-Each parent’s adherence to a timesharing schedule,

-The suitability of parenting plans submitted by each party,

-The geographic distance between the parties,

-The willingness and ability of each parent to cooperate,

-The wishes of the parent,

-The wishes of the child depending on age and maturity.

Gold-Bikin, Lynne Z. & Kolodny, Stephen, The Divorce Trial Manuel, Chicago: ABA Book Publishing, 2004.  Print.

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