When parents decide to
divorce in Pennsylvania, they will have a lot to consider, especially in regards
to child custody. As every divorcing parent knows,
child custody can be a
very sensitive issue. What works for one family, may not work for the next.
For example, just because your neighbor got her three kids in the divorce
and her ex-husband only sees the children every other weekend, that doesn’t
mean the identical arrangement would be best for
Suppose you’re a mother and you travel out-of-state regularly to
meet clients. In this case, it may make more sense to share equal custody
with your husband (who works from home) so he can watch the kids when
you travel. Or, perhaps you’re a father whose wife has a substance
Even though your wife has been a stay-at-home mother for five years, her
drug habit has made it so she cannot properly care for the children. Instead
of having the kids stay with your wife, you both agree she’s better
off living with her mother alone and seeking treatment until she can (hopefully)
overcome her addiction.
Your neighbor, Cindy, another stay-at-home mom like your wife, may have
a nearly identical house and she may have the same wallpaper, and her
kids may attend the same school, but the fact that the kids stayed with
her in the divorce has nothing to do with your divorce and child custody
situation. Your wife's addiction changed all that. When it comes to
child custody in a Pennsylvania divorce case, it all comes down to the
best interests of the children.
The Ultimate Goal: To Reach an Agreement
At our firm, we deal with no-fault,
uncontested divorces where child custody is not a point of contention; however, that
doesn’t mean that the parents are 100% satisfied with the situation.
Even though our clients agree on all aspects of the divorce, including
child custody, it doesn’t mean that the parents share custody equally;
it just means the parents are able to reach an “agreement”
over child custody.
Let’s say you’re a mother who is divorcing. Your husband says
he wants to take a job in Texas, which will pay him a lot more than he’s
earning now. Reluctantly, you agree to keep the children here in Pennsylvania
so they can attend the same school and grow up in the same home they’ve
always lived in. Even though it pains you to see him move away and have
the burden of raising the children fall upon you, you’re still willing
to let him go because you don’t see a better option.
When it comes to child custody and divorce, it’s best for the parents
to come up with a plan that is in their children’s best interests.
Whenever emotions get in the way, it’s important for parents to
take a step back and aim for a decision that ultimately serves their children’s
needs. That said, here are some considerations for parents to factor in:
- The children’s relationship to each parent
- The children’s ties to their school and the community
- What the child desires
- Each parent’s ability to support the children
- Each parent’s work schedule
- The children’s relationships with extended family
- Each parent’s support network (e.g. family that will help)
- Each parent’s ability to give the children time and attention
- Any history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Ay history of domestic violence
At Cairns Law Offices, we help people obtain, quick, affordable, no-fault
divorces throughout Pennsylvania. If you’re interested in obtaining
a simple, low-cost divorce, don’t hesitate to
contact our firm for a free divorce consultation! We’re here to help you reach a
child custody arrangement that is in your family’s best interests.