If you’re getting divorced in Pennsylvania, it’s normal to have questions and be worried about what happens next. One of the major issues that impact divorces and can slow down the process is child custody considerations. If you had children during your marriage, they are a primary concern during the divorce process. The court system will decide how your children will be cared for and how much child support is due based on the custody arrangements. If you and your spouse are not speaking or communication is strained, it will be difficult to work together to create an actionable parenting plan.
Navigating child custody concerns can be challenging, so here are a few important facts to remember before starting your parenting plan.
- Child Custody/ Parenting Plans: You can work with your co-parent to create a custody arrangement or timeshare that puts the needs of your children and their best interest first. While a judge can make the determination for you, it’s better for children when parents work together to determine custody arrangements they agree with and let the judge since off on them. In many cases, parents share some percentage of joint custody. The court system doesn’t want to separate a parent from their children, so sole custody can be a touchy subject. In sole custody situations, the custodial parent has all unilateral rights to make any and all choices for the minor child. Once a custody agreement has been created and finalized, it’s a legally binding document. Parents who fail to adhere to it can face severe consequences.
- Parents are Created Equal: Because mothers give birth to children and historically were considered the nurturers and caregivers, it was thought that courts favored mothers in custody proceedings. However, times have changed, and the parental roles of parents are very much equally considered in family court. A parent would have to be found unfit to have custody for a Pennsylvania court to deny joint custody. As stated previously, sole custody is discouraged without cause.
- Modification Orders: Life changes. People lose and gain jobs, or they are faced with relocations and military deployments. Life is characterized by change, so a legally binding custody order can also change to meet the demands of a chaotic modern life. Parents must request a modification through the court that handled the original custody decision because that court has continuing jurisdiction over the case. There are any number of good reasons to request a modification, but the process can be confusing. An attorney can help ensure the modification is accurately crafted and filed with the court.
Cairns Law Group
Even if you want a no-fault uncontested divorce, having children can complicate matters. Child custody is a serious issue that impacts the long-term well-being of your children. At Cairns Law Group, our attorneys can work to help you complete the appropriate documents and ensure they are filed with the court of jurisdiction in your case. Divorce is not always straightforward, so complications can arise that require legal representation and advisement. We realize that life is filled with ups and downs, and sometimes you need the help of legal professionals to navigate the court system. Call us today at (888) 863-9115 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case or reach out to our team online.