CHILD CUSTODY

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Child Custody

If you’re about to enter into a battle over child custody, Central Pennsylvania has a very traditional and non-unique view of this body of law. A good family law attorney will be able to guide you through the specifics of the law, but the main thing to know going into any custody battle is that Pennsylvania, like much of the country, views the best interests of the child as the most important and compelling consideration when determining custody between parents or other guardians.

What this means is that the best thing any parent seeking sole, primary or partial child custody in Central Pennsylvania can do is to take steps to present themselves as being in the best interests of the child or children. This could mean:

  • Changing residences in order to have a separate bedroom for the child
  • Changing neighborhoods to improve the school district for the child
  • Developing formal agreements from family and neighbors
  • Who can contribute to the child’s upbringing in any role (e.g., babysitters)
  • Gathering documentation of income and employment

Aside from practical steps such as the ones listed above, any parent seeking custody of their child should also consider the intangibles. This includes presenting themselves in court in a well-groomed, professional manner, having a plan for the child’s education, and being willing to engage in a civil negotiation with the other parent or guardian(s).

Courts deciding child custody in Central Pennsylvania look down on overly aggressive attempts to paint other guardians in a bad light, and see a willingness to cooperate as a sign of a healthy environment for the child to exist in. Keeping control of emotions while in court or in conferences and working to be reasonable and cooperative can result in a better decision for you.

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