Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky, P.C.

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As of May 29, 2020, Dauphin County, where our office is located, has moved from Red to Yellow status. Our office will re-open on June 1, 2020. Until further notice, Stay Safe Guidelines will be followed, including safe social distancing (6 feet), cleaning after each client and the wearing of masks by employees and clients at all times while in our office. People who are ill and those without masks will not be permitted entry into our office.

Making the grade when it comes to shared parenting

While divorce can be hard, you’re not the only one affected. Your children are also going to face major changes, and it could be up to the courts how much you can help them through it.

The National Parents Organization has assigned Pennsylvania a D when it comes to shared parenting. They looked at allowances and baselines when assigning each parent a share of custody, and things could look better if you’re looking for an equal share of parenting rights.

Qualifying custody

Getting custody of your children isn’t automatic, no matter how much you contribute. The courts take into account all kinds of facets when looking at each case:

  • Involvement: How big a part you play in your child’s life can be a key component in a custody hearing. If you’ve been a large aspect of their day-to-day life, that will likely bode well when the courts consider custody.
  • Growth: You’ll need to show that you’re able to provide ongoing stability, along with continually satisfying their physical, emotional and developmental needs.
  • Maintenance: Children learn a great deal from their surroundings, and rely heavily on those around them. You may have points in your favor if you plan to maintain connections to family members and other support systems like teachers and community leaders.

Negative notes

But not everything is counted in your favor. There can also be ways a court may deduct points:

  • Discouraging ongoing contact with their other parent, or speaking ill of them in front of the children
  • Holding a history of high-risk behavior, involving anything from illegal substances to domestic abuse
  • Being in a state of poor mental of physical health

There are all kinds of things that a judge will have to consider when assigning custody. Knowing what they are can make all the difference when you’re approaching the matter.