Bucks County Child Custody Attorney
When a Pennsylvania divorce involves a child, one of the most stressful and emotional decisions that parents will have to make is the determination of custody. At Kardos, Rickles & Hand our team of highly qualified divorce attorneys understands the complexity of child custody decisions and will zealously advocate on behalf of you and your child throughout this difficult process. If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Bucks County child custody attorney in the Newtown area about your child custody case, call or contact us today to schedule a consultation.
There are two main types of custody that are determined in every child custody case: legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to a parent’s ability to make decisions regarding the upbringing and wellbeing of their child. Examples include choices about their schooling, religion, medical decisions, travel, and extracurricular activities. Parents can either share decision making ability, known as joint legal custody, or one parent can retain all decision making power, known as sole legal custody.
Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with after the divorce. The parent with primary physical custody, or where the child spends more of their time, is known as the custodial parent, and the parent that spends less time with the child is known as the noncustodial parent. The main types of physical custody include sole, partial, shared, and supervised physical custody. With sole custody, the child lives full-time with one parent. With shared or partial custody, the child splits their time living with each parent, although the time does not have to be equal. Supervised physical custody means that the child lives with one parent and spends time with the other under the supervision of a responsible third party.
Determining the Best Interests of the Child
If parents cannot agree on the terms of legal and physical custody of a child, the court will make that determination by looking at it through the lens of what is in the best interests of the child. The judge will weigh a number of factors when making this determination, including the following:
- Each parent’s daily role in the care of the child
- The child’s need for stability in education, family, and community life
- The child’s relationship with extended family
- The child’s relationships with siblings
- The child’s preference if old and mature enough to render a decision
- Any parental history of domestic violence or abuse
- Each parent’s willingness to foster a relationship between the child and other parent
- Each parent’s ability to maintain a loving, stable, consistent, and nurturing relationship with the child
- Any special needs of the child
- Geographical proximity of the parents
- The level of conflict between the parents
- Each parent’s availability to care for the child or ability to make child-care arrangements
- Each parent’s physical and mental health, and
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
Call or Contact our Bucks County Child Custody Attorneys Today
Would you like to learn more about the child custody options in your case? If so, call or contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand in Bucks County today to schedule a consultation of your case.