A parent, one in loco parentis, or grandparent can ask for custody. In Pennsylvania, custody for the most part broken down into legal and physical custody. Legal Custody gives the parent the right to make all decisions, medical, religious, and educational, affecting the best interest of the child, which usually is shared by both parents. Physical Custody, means what is states, it is the actual physical possession and control of a child, which also is usually shared. There is also, Partial custody, Sole Legal Custody, Sole Physical Custody, Supervised Custody, and Visitation. With Visitation, the non-custodial parent cannot take the child from the custodial parents control, cannot be with the child without the custodial parent present, or one both agree to supervise the visit, and the visits are not overnight visits. Depending on ones standing depends on what type of custody one would be awarded.
The best interest of the child is always the standard for determining a custody award, along with consideration of numerous other factors. Some of the factors are: the party that will make sure the child maintains a relationship with the other party; which party provides a more stable environment; close contact with extended family; the child’s preference when older; which party is not alienating the child against the other party; and which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with their child.
This is just a brief overview of custody. If you are facing a child custody issue, you need someone who is compassionate, understanding and patient on your side, who know when to fight and try and settle things peacefully. The more the parties’ fight the more is costs you and costs your child, so call us and make an appointment.