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Custody Law Update
When the Court makes a decision about custody, it must decide who should have custody in a way most favorable to the child’s well-being. In 2011, Pennsylvania courts set forth sixteen factors to determine who gets custody. New Jersey and New York have similar factors to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child.
Who has a right to seek custody of a child?
Legal custody is the right to make major decisions affecting the child, including medical, religious, and educational decisions. Le-gal custody can be sole or shared. Many courts rule in favor of joint legal custody.
Physical custody is the right to have the child in your care. There are a few types of physical custody: primary, which gives one party the right to have possession of the child most of the time; shared/partial, which gives both parties right to be in contact with the child. Visitation can either be supervised or unsupervised, as the Court will decide according to the circumstances.
It is now more important than ever for an individual to consult with his or her attorney to evaluate the new law in comparison to their individual circumstance so that the correct decision can be made for the best interest of the individual’s child(ren).
Pennsylvania grants a fault divorce if a spouse deserts without reasonable cause for one or more years, commits adultery, endangers the life of his or her partner or subjects a partner to cruel or barbarous treatment, was already married to someone else (bigamy) when he or she married, was sentenced to jail for longer than two years, or has made the conditions intolerable or life burdensome.
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