Child custody is one of the most important matters that Pennsylvania parents have to work out when they choose to end their relationship. The care and custody of their kids can become contentious, though, when they cannot agree on an arrangement that meets their kids’ best interests and their own desires. The courts and the parties’ attorneys can help them sort out their differences.
In divorce parlance, child custody often comes with another parental right: visitation. Pennsylvania groups visitation and custody together but parents should still understand the different ways that they may have rights and access to their kids. This post provides no legal advice and all individuals with child custody questions should reach out to their family law attorneys.
Possible forms of child custody
Child custody concerns both the physical care of children and the decision-making power of their parents to guide their upbringing. Often parents share the custody of their kids between them, but sometimes one parent is unfit or unable to provide care due to their circumstances. The following are possible child custody outcomes for Pennsylvania parents:
- Shared physical custody: Both parents have rights to have their child live with them for some amount of time.
- Partial physical custody: A parent can take their child from the child’s custodian for a stipulated period of time.
- Supervised partial physical custody: A parent can be with their child and a third party supervisor for a stipulated period of time.
Partial custody therefore parallels common notions of visitation in the laws and rules of Pennsylvania.
Advocating for parental rights
It can be incredibly overwhelming for a parent to acknowledge that after divorce, they may not see their child each day. When parents have concerns over their co-parents’ fitness to provide care for their children, they can advocate for child custody arrangements that protect their kids and their own rights. Strong legal advocates can help their clients before, during, and after their divorce and family law hearings to help them attain the best possible child custody outcomes for their families.