What are the types of child custody in Pennsylvania?

Child custody arrangements should promote the interests of families. In Pennsylvania, family courts have multiple options when creating child custody orders.

You should learn about the different physical and legal custody arrangements for your family if you are a parent getting divorced.

Legal custody in Pennsylvania

In many divorce cases, Pennsylvania courts strive to keep both parents present in their children’s lives. You and your former spouse can share legal custody, which means both of you have input in key decisions that affect your children’s upbringing, education and healthcare. Sometimes family courts award primary legal custody to one parent if that would benefit the children.

Varieties of physical custody orders

There are many different physical custody arrangements in Pennsylvania. You and your ex-spouse can share physical custody, which means your children will divide their time equally between both parents. In addition, one parent can have partial custody. In these cases, children spend more time with one parent but regularly stay with the other as well. For example, the noncustodial parent could care for the children every other weekend.

Furthermore, you can have primary custody and take care of your child most of the time while allowing visitation rights to your former spouse. Courts can also mandate supervised visitation when appropriate. It is possible for one parent to have sole physical custody, too.

Determining child custody is a complex but important part of any divorce. There are various custody options for divorcing parents in Pennsylvania that can prioritize the interests of their children.


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