Which parent may the divorce court award child custody to?

Pennsylvania’s divorce court judges may not favor one parent over the other based on gender. The state General Assembly’s website notes that while the court considers many factors, your child’s safety and well-being take priority.

A judge, for example, may look at each parent to see who could provide children with a stable and nurturing home. If you wish to request sole or legal custody, you may show how you intend to provide food and housing. You could also show your ability to support your child’s education and healthcare needs.

How may the court award visitation rights?

The parent awarded sole custody generally has full-time responsibility for child-rearing. The court may also require divorcing couples to create a schedule outlining when a child visits an ex-spouse. If a child has health issues and needs medical treatment, you may wish to create a schedule based on doctors’ appointments.

The frequency of visitation days may depend on how close ex-spouses live to each other. Work schedules and other factors could also affect an ex-spouse’s visitation rights. When two soon-to-be ex-spouses agree on an arrangement, a judge may include a visitation schedule in a divorce decree.

When may both parents remain involved in a child’s life decisions?

As reported by Brides.com, parents with legal custody have rights to make major decisions for their children. These decisions include matters of medical care, religion and education. Parents with visitation rights generally may not contribute to major decisions.

To have a say in a child’s major life decisions, ex-spouses may agree on sharing custody. Divorce in the Keystone State includes child custody, visitation and decision-sharing arrangements. A judge may award a shared legal custody arrangement when both individuals show that they can provide for a child’s needs.


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