This blog is part 5, the final part of this series, 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.
9. Facilitate the opposing party’s custody as much as possible.
If you thought it was your job to prevent the other side from exercising custody, you haven't been paying attention to common sense or the law. If your former partner is a good parent, or more precisely, a court has found them to be a good parent, then it is your job as a parent to ensure the child benefits from the love and companionship of the other parent. In fact, Pennsylvania has codified this requirement in its divorce code. The Pennsylvania statute:
§ 5303. Award of custody, partial custody or visitation.
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(a) General rule.--In making an order for custody, partial custody or visitation to either parent, the court shall consider, among other factors, which parent is more likely to encourage, permit and allow frequent and continuing contact and physical access between the noncustodial parent and the child... (emphasis added)
In Pennsylvania, the court must consider whether you are the parent who will facilitate the other parent's relationship with the child. It is the first factor listed in the statute. So, you should show the court that you are more than willing to facilitate custody in the other parent. Therefore, you should not work to deny the child the other parent if you want to have and keep primary custody.
10. Recognize Your Own Limits & Needs
Many times custody issues arise when a relationship breaks up, or other stressors begin working on the children or parties. Lawyers often find that custody clients may need to slow down, and work on their own issues before rushing into a court battle. Litigating the custody issues at a time when the drama of the breakup is causing erratic behavior can lead to bad results in the custody case. A parent who waits a short time to stabilize their life and who has placed sometime between the breakup and the custody battle can be a benefit. You want the judge or mediator to meet you at a high point, not your lowest state. This may mean sitting back and taking care of yourself, and not moving as quickly forward with your custody case.
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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