Undergoing a child custody battle can be stressful, but at DeRiso, DeRiso & Suher, we aim to make it as simple as possible.

Here are some factors that go into the decision process:

  1. Wishes of the parent(s)

As attorneys we are going to listen and open up two way communication to hear what you want.  Many times one parent wants sole custody and the other wants joint custody.  Sometimes this can be a sign that the parent wanting sole custody is being unreasonable.  If there are valid reasons (drug use, abuse, etc) the reward of sole custody would be likely.

2.  Wishes of the child

If the child is old enough to form their own opinion, their wishes are always considered. With the help of an attorney, you can get your child’s voice to be heard in the courts.  The judge will want to know the reasoning behind the child’s opinion. If the reason is understandable, a decision will be made based on their wishes.

3.  Child’s Community Adjustment

Judges take into consideration a child’s adjustment if they are undergoing an abrupt change.  Having no change in school or community is preferred.  The courts like to see children undergoing changes gradually and smoothly.  At certain ages, friends and peers are a huge part of a child’s life.  This is another aspect that is considered important in the eyes of the court.

4.  Family Relationships

Before making a decision judges are going to look at what kind of family life the child will have in either household. Grandparents, siblings, step-parents, etc are all important.  Parents that a working a difficult schedule or travel frequently might hinder their chances.

5.  Primary Caretaker

Because judges like to ease gradually into changes, the child’s primary caretaker typically stays as the primary caretaker.  The parent that is most involved with major decisions such as health, education and religion also have a slight edge over the parent that does not make these decisions for a child.  Make sure you take an active role in your child’s life!

6.  Mental/Physical Health Factors

Sole custody will likely be given to the healthy parent and for the child’s safety a judge may place limitations on the unhealthy parent.  These issues/concerns will be addressed in court.  If a parent’s health factors are temporary, then a judge’s decision may also be temporary until things are more normal.  An attorney will be to help you so that you are treated fairly in these kind of trials.

7.  Child Support

If one of the parents is not up to date with their child support obligation then the judge will definitely question the motive and it might play a part in the final decision.

Remember, every case is different!  These factors are to be used so you understand the decision process.  If you are undergoing a child custody battle, call DeRiso, DeRiso, Suher, Attorneys at Law today for a free consultation! We have decades of experience fighting for clients just like you.

One of our favorite reviews is from a client who underwent a child custody trial and was considered the underdog:

“Mr. DeRiso actually won my case of child custody and I am the father of my child. Not an easy task in PA! He uses the facts of the case and will tell you straight forward of your chances of winning your case. Very honest, loyal and business oriented. He will fight for what’s right!”