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Understanding the basics of Pennsylvania child custody

Many couples going through the divorce process also have to deal with child custody arrangements. Deciding on the details of those arrangements can be a point of contention, but disagreements may be avoided when couples better understand the basics. For spouses getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, understanding the basics of child custody can help lessen the emotions that may otherwise accompany the process.

Physical custody of a couple's children is generally granted to one of the parents. This means that the children will live with one parent the majority of the time, although they can still spend time with their other parent. In some cases, joint custody is awarded, allowing both parents approximately equal time with their children. However, this type of agreement can be difficult to maintain as it requires the parents' continued cooperation.

In custody arrangements in which one parent has primary physical custody, the parents typically share legal custody of their children. This means that both parents get a say in their children's educations, medical care, religion and other major decisions. Shared legal custody is also the standard for parents who have shared physical custody.

A lot of different factors go into the creation of a child custody arrangement in Pennsylvania. Keeping the best interests of the children in mind is incredibly important. Parents who are willing to work together can ensure that their children maintain stable relationships with both of their parents. Parents who are struggling to agree or who need help understanding their options can turn to legal professionals or mediators for help with their child custody issues. 

Source: FindLaw.com, "Child Custody Basics", Nov. 18, 2014

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