Child custody can be a challenging and emotionally taxing part of any divorce. Because of that, it can be useful to know how child custody is determined in Pennsylvania so parents can be prepared for what to anticipate from the child custody process.

Child custody determinations are always based on what is in the best interests of the child. The aim of the best interests of the child standard is to maintain a focus on the child’s overall physical, mental, emotional and developmental well-being and the safety of the child. The family law court evaluates a variety of factors to determine what child custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

Factors the family law court considers in Pennsylvania to determine what is in the best interests of the child include the child’s family relationships; the location of the child; the mental and physical condition of the parties; and the wishes of a child. When parents are negotiating child custody, they should also consider what is in the best interests of the child. This can help parents maintain a focus on what is in their child’s best interests as they navigate their own child custody concerns.

Different types of child custody arrangements are available to help meet the child’s needs and what is best for them. Parents should be familiar with the family law tools and resources available to help them through the child custody process and arrive at a child custody arrangement that works for their family.