Those going through a divorce have a lot of challenges ahead of them, and the emotional roller coaster can often be overwhelming. It’s even more intense when children are involved, and if anamicable child custody arrangement can’t be made, it can become very difficult to understand everything related to the subject.

A good divorce attorney can help you with this, and make it easier to understand what to expect where child custody is involved. But before that, looking into the basics is important. Knowing a bit about child custody and what is factored into it is a key step in going through your divorce with as much dignity as possible.

Here are some of the key points that you’ll want to understand.

  • First, understand that no two cases are identical. Talking to a family member or coworker may give you an idea of what to expect, but the reality is that you can’t base your case on theirs. Even a minor difference could mean larger changes to your outcomes.
  • Despite what most think, mothers aren’t immediately given preferential treatment by the courts. Instead, courts treat mothers and fathers equally when determining what kind of custody is ordered.
  • Children may be able to have some say in where they want to live, but their impact on the court’s overall decision is relatively minor. It’s not enough for a child to say they want to live with a particular parent, in other words.
  • What courts primarily look at when determining custody is what the child’s best interests are. Figuring this out often involves finances of the parents, living situation with each parent, educational factors, and more. The courts review a lot of information when making a decision.
  • It’s often better for everyone for parents to come to some kind of agreement on their own. If emotions are too great, the attorneys for each spouse could offer mediation to help focus on what’s important. These amicable agreements can be negotiated in a way that reduces stress on everyone involved and avoids a lengthy, emotional court case.

The bottom line is that there is no way to instantly know whether or not you’ll get custody of your child during a Pennsylvania divorce. Your attorney will be able to provide you with a more accurate understanding related to the specifics of your case, but even then they are providing you with their professional opinion – the courts can often surprise anyone. Going through your divorce with dignity is important, and understanding child custody early on can make it easier to do so.