Those going through a divorce in Pennsylvania have a tremendous amount of stress on their shoulders, and are going through one of the single most stressful situations in their entire lives. And to make it even more stressful for many, children are often involved in the process. When children are a factor, child custody becomes one of the key elements of a divorce – and one that can bring tremendous stress with it.

The first step to being able to move on with your divorce as child custody is involved is simply to understand the basics behind child custody in the Pennsylvania legal system. There are a few key points to understand here.

  • Pennsylvania law shows no preference for gender, despite what many believe. Mothers and fathers are regarded equally by the courts when determining a child custody order.
  • What is used to determine child custody comes down to nothing more than the best interests of the child. This includes financial factors, living conditions, school and education factors, and much more.
  • Despite what most believe, the wishes of the child themselves don’t always play a major role in these cases. A child’s desires could be heard by the court and considered, but just because that child says they want to live with one parent does not mean that they will get their wishes.

Understanding these basic points is the first part of moving through a child custody situation with the best level of dignity possible, but it’s only the beginning. Another factor to consider is the emotional one. Child custody often brings out the highest level of anger, pain, and frustration in parents going through a divorce – and those emotions can have an impact on your case.

To help you move through your divorce and child custody case with more dignity, it’s better to speak with an attorney than to try to go on alone. An attorney will help you stay separate from the emotional discussions and negotiate on your behalf.

Plus, their knowledge of the legal system and divorce in Pennsylvania will help ensure that you get the best possible results from your case. While there are no guarantees as to outcome, one thing that is for sure is that a lawyer will make it much easier on you to go through the process of determining child custody during a divorce.