Thursday, February 12, 2015

Points to consider in your children custody case after a divorce (part 1)

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.

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at
Over the next couple weeks this blog with discuss 10 points to consider when trying to position yourself to maximize your physical custody of your children.  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.

1.  Try to find adequate and safe living environment.
This can be a problem for many divorcing parents, especially financially.  Ideally, you would try to find something that has age appropriate bedroom situations, allows older boys and girls to sleep separately, and an environment that avoids over-crowding.  Obviously keeping the marital home has its own advantage as the children are comfortable and acclimated to those surroundings.

Of course, financial considerations may limit your choices.  So, no matter where you move, keep it clean, neat, and habitable.  Modest housing that is clean and neat is usually all most custody judges will expect.  Even if you must rent a less than perfect abode, and the opposing parent has that, "nice house in the country", adequate sleeping areas, and cleanliness should keep you on equal ground. Judges may be negatively swayed by pictures of dirty homes and dingy appearances.

2. Stay in the same school district.
A divorce is already disruptive children’s lives and the court is, and the parents should be, looking for ways to keep as much stability as possible. School is one of the areas that can remain stable. If you move out of your child's school district, the opposing parent may argue that custody is best kept with them, so the child can retain the same friends and teachers.  This can be a powerful and persuasive argument. If the custody case is otherwise close, this may carry the day. 

Many times a parent who leaves the family residence moves without regard to the school district. They move long distances to be with new loves, parents, or just to get a fresh start.  Keep in mind that school is one of the most important aspects of your children's lives.  This is usually where most of their friends are.  Staying in the same district signals to the court that you planned your move with your children's best interest at heart.
However, if you move to a location with a much better school district than the one your child/children currently attend, you can present this in your custody case.  Just remember, much better and a little better are not the same things.  In most instances, moving schools for children who are established students is probably not going to help your custody case.  You should try to find housing in the same school district if you are the parent leaving the marital home.
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

#Custody #Divorce #Bucks_County #lawyer #lawyers, #Montgomery_County #Souderton #Law_Firm

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