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Does Pennsylvania favor one parent over the other for custody?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | Child Custody

Filing for divorce leads to a lot of uncertainty. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement, you don’t know what will happen with your property or who gets to keep the house.

If you have children, your access to them will depend on how the courts rule in your custody proceedings. Few things are as frightening as the prospect of not being able to be an active and involved parent. No one wants to get cut out of the lives of their children, and there are many horror stories floating around about loving parents who don’t get to see their children anymore because of a contentious divorce.

People will sometimes make claims about the sex of one parent influencing how the courts ruled in a divorce. Will the judge presiding over your Pennsylvania divorce give one parent more consideration than the other?

Pennsylvania custody laws do not refer to the role of either parent

When lawmakers updated custody laws in Pennsylvania, they took great pains not to make a law biased. If you read through state family law statutes, you will quickly find that they refer neither to the sex of the parents nor their roles as father and mother.

The focus is not on supporting one parent over the other but rather on creating a custody solution that focuses on what will work for the kids and the basic rights of each parent. Such an approach does typically mean shared parenting, although judges may deviate from the presumption of shared custody in situations involving abuse, neglect or other serious concerns that could affect a child’s safety and well-being.

Most parents facing divorce in Pennsylvania will share custody with their ex and will get to spend plenty of time with the kids, even if they don’t get to live with them every day.

What are your parenting priorities?

If you and your ex don’t already agree about how to split up custody, you will want to set priorities for custody proceedings.

Does retaining legal custody mean that you can make decisions about religious observances and medical treatment? Do you have certain holidays or special events that are particularly meaningful for you that you want integrated into the parenting plan? Do you think that your spouse or their new romantic partner poses a threat of physical harm to your children?

The answers to these questions and many others dictate how you approach custody matters in a pending Pennsylvania divorce.