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Have you ever wondered how a judge actually determines which parent gets custody of a child?

When establishing custody, the court must determine what is in the best interest of the child. How does the court determine what is in the best interest of the child? It is required by law to consider all relevant factors and to give weighted consideration to those factor, which affect the safety of the child. Additionally, the court must consider the following 16 enumerated factors, pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5328.

1. Which party is considered to be more likely to allow and encourage regular and ongoing contact between the child and the other party

2. Any history of abuse by either party or any member of that party's household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child

3. The parental duties that each party performs for the child

4. The necessity for maintaining continuity and stability in the child's family environment, community environment, and education

5. The extent to which extended family is available

6. The child's relationships with siblings

7. The child's preference, depending on his or her maturity level and ability to use sound judgment

8. Whether either parent has tried to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm

9. Each party's ability to provide the stable, loving, and nurturing relationship that the child needs

10. Which party is better able to provide for the child's emotional, physical, educational, developmental, and special needs on a daily basis

11. The proximity of the residences of both parties

12. Each party's schedule and ability to care for the child or to arrange child care

​13. How much conflict there is between the two parties and their ability to cooperate with one another - One parent's effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate wit

14. Whether either party or a party's household member has any history of alcohol or drug abuse

15. Each party's physical and mental condition, or the condition of a household member

16. Any addition relevant factors

Categories: Family Law, Child Custody
  • Experience

    90 Years
    Combined Experience

    When choosing a lawyer, experience makes the difference in the fight.

    Read Our Firm's History [+]
  • Success

    Top 100
    Trial Lawyers

    We have been awarded many honors, from Super Lawyers® to Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

    About These Awards [+]
  • Devotion

    Our Client
    Reviews

    Every client & their victory is priority to us as demonstrated through our reviews.

    Read Our Client Testimonals [+]
  • Protection

    Put Our Experience
    to Work For You

    Contact our firm today so that we can get started on winning your case!

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