Attorneys Who Understand Their Clients

What Is The Most Important Factor In Pennsylvania Child Custody Cases?

Every court in Pennsylvania looks to the best interests of the child to resolve any question of custody. The court only wants to put the child in the safest, most advantageous position they can.

At Douglas, Joseph & Olson Attorneys At Law, we have answered questions for our clients about family law since 1994. Our team of attorneys is skilled and compassionate, and we offer strength and steady heads in facing complex family issues. We put our efforts into building outcomes for our clients across Hermitage and Jamestown, centering on what makes the most sense for the kids.

How Courts Define ‘Best Interests’

When we say best interests, we are talking about a specific, codified review of the facts of the child’s life. The court has important standards to consider, and it will make the decision based on the answers to many questions, including:

  • What is the child’s mental health like?
  • How is the child’s education going?
  • Is their domicile physically, emotionally and mentally stable?
  • Are there any extended family members nearby?
  • Is there any history of drug or alcohol abuse with either parent?

The court will discover an answer to these questions. Our duty here as your lawyers would be to present you in the best light, building a case around the strength of your relationship with the child.

Does The Child’s Choice Matter?

Pennsylvania law does allow for the child to have some input into where they live. However, the law includes language that takes many factors into account, including the child’s maturity. Realistically, this means that a child’s wishes, if they are even as old as 14 or 15, are only one piece of the puzzle and not weighted any differently.

Compassionate. Thorough. Hardworking.

We put the work in to help build your case and pursue the custody outcome you want. We work to get an amicable, long-term custody plan in place so you can focus on what really matters: your time with your family. Contact our office to get a meeting by calling 724-704-0554 or sending an email.