Child Custody Battles, Legal Strategies, and Considerations for Parents

Navigating a child custody battle ranks high among the most stressful aspects of many divorces. Though some couples easily agree to a schedule, for others the process is stressful and fraught, becoming a proxy for all that went wrong in their relationship.

Whether you and your spouse prioritize co-parenting or are preparing for a pitched legal battle, there are certain strategies and considerations you should keep in mind, with the most important being that courts in Pennsylvania strive to make custody decisions based on what they believe is in the best interest of your children. Though there are certainly exceptions, in most cases they want children to be able to maintain relationships with both parents and extended families, and take a dim view of those who they suspect of parental alienation.

Beyond that basic premise, parents readying for a custody battle will be well served by following these tips:

  • Familiarize yourself with the state laws surrounding custody so that you understand both the process and recent trends.
  • Courts want to see that you have a healthy, positive, stable relationship with your child. This is measured by how involved you are in their daily life, from attending school activities and making sure that homework is done to attending extracurricular events and keeping track of the most basic responsibilities like medical and dental appointments and ensuring that they are eating healthy, well-balanced meals when they are with you.
  • Make sure that you keep records of everything, from the time that you’re with your child and any notable events or conversations that take place, to any correspondence or conversations you have with the other parent. If you are battling for custody, it is especially important to keep track of instances of non-compliance with temporary custody arrangements and negative interactions that occur in front of your children.
  • If you are currently under a court order related to your divorce – whether regarding visitation, child support, or even spousal support – failure to comply with the established rules put themselves at risk of seeing it come back to negatively impact decisions about custody.

When you’re seeking custody of your children, your goal is to demonstrate that you will provide them with a safe and secure home. Acting in a way that shows that you are responsible and stable will help make your case, and so too will avoiding displays of negativity or anger towards your ex.

Arriving at the most beneficial custody schedule requires the support and guidance of an experienced attorney. For information on how we can help, contact us today to set up a time to meet.