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 child custody be changed?

Child custody can be changed via a child custody agreement modification. These are critical as verbal modifications typically don’t stand up in court. Most often, child 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?

Child 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.

Even if it were included in a prenuptial agreement, a court would not follow it as valid. There are various factors to determine the best interest of the child that cannot be determined before a child is born.

Can child custody be settled out of court?

Child custody can be settled out of court through negotiations between parents and attorneys through alternative dispute resolution.

In many cases, child custody cases are resolved 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 for child custody?

Child custody is determined by a variety of factors in a divorce. While it is assumed the mother will get custody of the child or children, 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 child 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 deemed the Custodial parent who 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 child 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 to civil rights and personal injury.

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