John C. Lackatos, P.C.
The Right Approach For The Right Situation
View Our Practice Areas

What is Pennsylvania's 'best interests of the child' standard?

What began as a passionate relationship can often go sour, with the passion evolving into heated arguments about everything from who keeps the paintings to who keeps the house. If there are children involved in a split, legal disputes can become even more contentious and drawn out as couples struggle to come to a parenting plan that both of them can agree on.

When a couple is able to present the court with a parenting plan that they both have committed to, then the court is likely to adopt that. However, when this does not happen due to disagreements between the parents, the court is left to make child custody determinations on the basis of the best interests of the child in Pennsylvania.

Courts in the state begin child custody determinations with the presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of children when both parents can act as competent caregivers. In this way, they do not consider gender as a factor in their decision. They do however consider family relationships, the child's wishes where appropriate, the mental and physical condition of all parties involved and their location. Where joint custody is not the court's decision, visitation rights are given to the non-custodial parent, depending on the circumstances of the case.

There are many different custody options that parents can create for their children, as everyone's circumstances differ-what might work for one couple may not work for the other. While presenting a parenting plan that both parties have agreed to is the best option, it is not always possible for parties to amicably agree to anything. Consulting an experienced attorney to discuss one's situation may prove helpful.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Start Your Legal Strategy

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

1040 Elk Street
P.O. Box 729
Franklin, PA 16323

Phone: 814-346-7286
Fax: 814-437-9288
Franklin Law Office Map

John C. Lackatos, P.C.

Phone Numbers