Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Points to consider in your children custody case after a divorce (part 3)

NOTE: Pennsylvania law does not presume one parent is better than the other as a custodial parent and many county courts look to share physical custody, as close to 50/50%, as possible. While judges base child custody decisions on many variables, and the Pennsylvania law sets forth all the factors a court must consider in a child custody case, this series includes some of the more important factors Pennsylvania courts typically consider when making these decisions.  While there are no guarantees in child custody disputes, taking these actions may increase your chances of a favorable result.

This blog is part 3 and discusses two more points of the 10 points we plan to discuss and for you to consider when trying to position yourself to maximize your physical custody of your children.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
5. Find and keep stability in your life.

Stability is key to custody.  Few things concern the court more than a parent who keeps changing jobs, changing housing, and changing who they are dating. This pattern could reflect instability to a judge.

Psychologists tell courts that children need routine and stability, which should extend to all aspects of the child's life.  Therefore, judges look for stability and consistency in a parent.  If you do need to change jobs or housing, do so with a carefully thought out plan of action.

If you change your life around a lot, the other parent will argue that no matter how your current situation seems to the court, that it is unproven and unlikely to last. It is hard to convince the court your situation is a good one, if the other side can point out that it is subject to constant revision.

So, remember to think stability in all aspect of your personal and public life, to ensure an advantage in custody litigation.

6. Hire a lawyer who knows custody and who you can afford.

There are couples who can work out custody on their own here in Pennsylvania. Those are the fortunate couples. When you cannot agree, you should consult a lawyer.  Court rules can be complex and filled with pitfalls for the untrained.

The real problem is it is hard decouple yourself emotionally from the fight.  Do you want a surgeon that gets angry, sad or depressed while he operates on your body?  A good lawyer is not emotionally attached to your situation, and can help you better understand what is possible and realistic.  This doesn't mean they have to be cold or unsympathetic, but it does mean they must and can maintain a professional detachment.

While a good lawyer is rarely free, costs can vary greatly.  In fact, most people don't know what to pay for an attorney.  A highly experienced attorney might charge a lot more for a particular case, but might not be able to be any more successful. A novice attorney may be just as successful if the facts and law are certain in a case.

You should also stay in budget. If you overpay for your resources, you might not be able to sustain the custody litigation.  You don't want to burn all of your legal funds too quickly. Be careful about spending too much too soon.  You might be able to afford the high priced attorney for a short term, but what if the case drags on?

Please keep in mind we are not trying to set you up to "win" a court case. This series is a set of factors for you to consider to position yourself in the best place for you to contribute to the stability, welfare, and well-being of your children.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Douglas Wortman or Medvesky Law Office, LLC, check out our website at www.medveskylaw.com.

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