Are You Ready To Fight For Child Custody?
The decision to pursue custody litigation should not be taken lightly by either parent. There is no “winning” a custody case – the ultimate goal is to achieve a result that is best for your child. Often the most effective way to achieve this goal is through an agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the decision will be left up to a judge that has likely never met you or your children. If your children are old enough, they too may also become part of the process and speak directly to the judge. Rest assured that your team at LaMonaca Law will zealously pursue the best path for you and your child after explaining all of your options. Let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you prepare yourself for your child custody conflict.
Understand Your State’s Custody Laws
Child custody laws can vary by state. In Pennsylvania, all custody determinations are made in the best interest of the child when applying sixteen custody factors. It is also important to understand how the factors are applied to the facts of your individual case. The factors a court will consider are:
1) Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.
(2) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party’s household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child.
(2.1) The information set forth in section 5329.1(a) (relating to consideration of child abuse and involvement with protective services).
(3) The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.
(4) The need for stability and continuity in the child’s education, family life and community life.
(5) The availability of extended family.
(6) The child’s sibling relationships.
(7) The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child’s maturity and judgment.
(8) The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm.
(9) Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child’s emotional needs.
(10) Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child.
(11) The proximity of the residences of the parties.
(12) Each party’s availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements.
(13) The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party’s effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party.
(14) The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party’s household.
(15) The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party’s household.
(16) Any other relevant factor.
Keep Proper Documentation
Having proper documentation is also an essential part of litigating a child custody case. Correspondence between the parties, photos of your time with the children, school records, medical records and evaluations are just some of the types of documents that may be necessary should your case proceed to trial. We also ask clients to keep a detailed journal of their custodial time and interactions with the other parent. This allows for us to be up to speed in real time about what is happening on a daily basis in your case.
Get in touch with an experienced custody attorney at LaMonaca Law Today!
If you are looking for legal counsel for your child custody case, we are here to help you. At LaMonaca Law, our team of seasoned attorneys will ensure that your case is represented strongly whether the choice is to negotiate an agreement or pursue litigation. Click or call today