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How does a court determine child custody?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2020 | Family Law

When in the middle of a custody battle, you are at the mercy of the court system. The courts are interests in the best interests of the child, rather than the preferences of the parent. To understand the court’s judgment and to prepare yourself to obtain custody, you have to know what the court looks for. 

According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the courts look at several factors to determine who to award custody to. 

Emotional needs of the child 

Children’s emotional needs are as serious as any physical needs. In weighing out a custody order, the court will consider the child’s relationships with family. He or she needs to remain in a stable household where contact with both parents remains encouraged unless there is a history or risk of abuse. A nurturing relationship is crucial for your children’s development. The court may also consider the preference of your child, as long as the child has the maturity and judgment to have an opinion. 

Physical needs of the child 

When debating custody, the courts focus on safety. The parent who is most likely to attend to a child’s physical and developmental needs is more likely to have custody of the child. This parent must be willing to tend to any special physical needs the child needs as well. In addition to monitoring physical health and wellness, you must also protect your child’s physical safety. If there is any current or past abuse committed by one of the parents, then the child must remain with the parent who is not a risk to the child. At all times, your child must be safe from harm.