Shared Custody in Pennsylvania

Changes to social norms and increasing divorce rates have changed the tone of custody cases in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers are considering a shift in focus on more evenly distributed time between both parents for shared custody in Pennsylvania. Even if it means less emphasis on the best interests of the child, lawmakers are promoting our laws to adapt.

What can be linked to many sources, this initiative takes into account the emergence of women as the primary earners or both parents needing to work. Previously, custody had a focus on the primary custodian which was typically the mother. Recent changes for shared custody in Pennsylvania added other factors such as relationship with siblings, or the probability that a parent will turn the child against the other parent.

Pursuant to §5323, types of custody include primary or shared physical or legal custody, and visitation. A common arrangement is one parent having primary physical custody and shared legal custody, meaning both parents share in making legal, health, education choices, etc. The other parent will get partial custody with a custody schedule established either formally or informally.

All types include:

1. Shared physical custody

2. Primary physical custody

3. Partial physical custody

4. Sole physical custody

5. Supervised physical custody

6. Shared legal custody

7. Sole legal custody

§5328 of Pennsylvania custody laws dictate the factors for determining custody. Generally, these leaned in the favor of the mother as primary custodian, but with the changes we are seeing today, lawmakers are suggesting the laws be revisited to accommodate busy lifestyles of both parents. By splitting time more evenly, both parents are responsible for daily parenting and care of their children. This will create a greater continuity for children and feeling of connection that can be lost in skewed custody arrangements.

Of particular interest is the effect on father’s rights. Laws on shared custody in Pennsylvania require gender neutrality in making custody determinations. Because the requirements are at odds with full time work or those who travel for their job, many fathers have complained that the statutes block them from having a fair chance for more time with their kids. Any new changes to the requirements would be welcomed by those who have been unable to get the arrangement they want.

Additionally, mothers will be able to breathe a sigh of relief to have the other parent share in the daily responsibilities. The benefits most importantly benefit the best interests of the child. The laws were updated within the last few years to adapt to case law, with recent amendments

Having an experienced custody lawyer is critical in handling a custody matter; complex or strained circumstances can prevent parents from reaching mutually agreeable custody arrangements. Contact the Bucks County custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. to handle your Doylestown custody case with care and persistence you demand. Call (215) 297-4515 or complete the online inquiry form and a member of our team will contact you to schedule a consultation.