How to prove you should have custody of the children?

To prove you should have custody of the children, the Court must take into consideration all of the relevant factors that may affect the child’s best interests. The court encourages parents to work out a schedule of shared custody that allows adequate, quality time with each parent.

Prove you should have Custody:

In the event that a trial becomes necessary, the following factors will come in to play. (23 Pa. C.S.A. §5334)

  1. Encouraging contact with the other parent during your custodial time;
  2. Abuse by a parent or someone in the parent’s household that may indicate a risk of harm to the child;
  3. Parental duties that you perform;
  4. Stability in the child’s education, family life, and community;
  5. Availability of grandparents or other relatives to visit or assist in caring for the child;
  6. The relationship of the child with brothers or sisters;
  7. The preference of a mature child.[1]
  8. Any attempts to negatively affect the child’s relationship with the other parent;
  9. Providing a loving, stable environment to meet the child’s emotional needs;
  10. Care of the ongoing physical and developmental needs of the child;
  11. Proximity of your home to the other parent;
  12. Availability to care for the child or make suitable child-care arrangements;
  13. Willingness to cooperate with the other parent and minimize conflict;
  14. Drug or alcohol abuse by a parent or another person in a parent’s home;
  15. The mental and physical condition of the parent and others in the home.

Sometimes the Court will appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the legal interests of the child and make recommendations regarding custody and other services that may assist the child, such as counseling. The GAL may interview the child, the parents, teachers, and other service providers to ensure that court is aware of all of the factors that may affect a custody decision. A GAL is sometimes considered to be the ‘eyes and ears of the court,’ viewing the child and parents in a more natural setting and reporting their observations to the court.

imageHow to prove you should have custody of the children?

If you are involved in a custody dispute, the experienced State College family law attorneys at The Mazza Law Group can help you to understand and prove how the factors to be considered by the court may favor you as the child’s primary custodian.

[1] “Maturity” of a child is measured not just by age, but by many factors, including the explanation for the child’s stated preference, ability to reason, and sound judgment.