Child custody can be the most contentious part of going through a divorce. We know you want what’s best for your family, but you may have questions on how to achieve that. We’ve compiled some of the concerns many parents undergoing custody battles face.

Can I change my custody agreement?

Child custody can be changed via a custody agreement modification. These are critical as verbal modifications typically don’t stand up in court. Most often, custody can be modified when it is in the best interest of the child or the custodial parent is moving and wishes to relocate the child.

Can child custody be in a prenup?

Custody or support cannot be included in a prenup. The court maintains the final say in determining what is in the best interest of a child as well as for calculating child support costs.

A court would not follow what a prenup says about child custody. It would never be considered valid. There are various factors to determine the best interest of the child that cannot be determined before a child is born.

Can I settle child custody out of court?

You can settle custody out of court through negotiations between parents and attorneys through alternative dispute resolution.

In many cases, you can resolve child custody cases via alternative dispute resolution. This allows both parties to have a say in the child’s future and living arrangements.

Who gets child custody in a divorce? / What are the requirements?

The court determines child custody through a variety of factors in a divorce. It’s common to assume that the mother will get custody of the child or children, but in reality, the court will review:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Likelihood of parental alienation
  • Domestic violence
  • Who typically performs the upbringing duties of the child
  • Child’s relationship with other family members
  • The ability of each parent to cultivate the needs of the child

What are the types of custody?

There are two types of legal custody and three types of physical custody in Pennsylvania. They are:

  • Joint Legal Custody – Both parents have the legal authority to make major decisions for their children.
  • Sole Legal Custody – One parent has the legal authority to make major decisions for their children, with exceptions to medical emergencies.
  • Joint Physical Custody – Parents split a child’s time evenly between their residencies.
  • Bird’s Nest Physical Custody – Parents rotate living in a residency with one child who maintains residency in one location.
  • Sole Physical Custody – One parent is the Custodial parent whom the child resides within one location.

What are the types of visitation?

There are three types of visitation in Pennsylvania. They are:

  • Supervised Visitation – Non-Custodial parent is only permitted to visit their children when another person is present.
  • Unsupervised Visitation – Non-Custodial parent has unsupervised visitation.
  • Virtual Visitation – Non-Custodial parent has unsupervised visitation through digital platforms, i.e. Zoom, etc.

What determines an unfit parent in PA?

Typically, an unfit parent in Pennsylvania is one who has substance abuse problems, severe and untreated mental health issues, and/or a record of domestic abuse.

It is important to know that if a parent claims the other is unfit and the individual does not fit in one of those designated categories, it can hurt their own court presence in the custody battle.

Is PA a 50/50 custody state?

Pennsylvania is a 50/50 custody state. This means that the higher wage earner generally pays child support to the lower earner to ensure the children’s standard of living is the same in both locations. In these cases, the child lives with each parent equally.

Let a Scranton Family Lawyer Help You

If you have questions pertaining to child custody laws in Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to contact our Scranton family law firm for a free consultation.

We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law and personal injury.

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