Fathers’ Rights

Understanding How Child Custody Is Determined In Pennsylvania

Today, courts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania no longer presume that child custody should be automatically awarded to a particular party.

Judges are required to state reasons for custody determination on the record, giving full consideration to the best interests of the child.

Pennsylvania's Child Custody Factors

Courts also take into account a range of factors, including:

  • Risk of abuse or other harm to the child
  • Educational, family life and community life stability and continuity
  • Maintaining family relationships
  • The child's custody preference
  • Any parental alienation
  • Physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child
  • Proximity of parents' residences
  • Each parent's availability to care for the child
  • The level of conflict between parents
  • History of drug or alcohol abuse among parents or members of their households
  • Mental and physical conditions of parents or members of their households

Although judges must rule objectively, gender bias may exist in certain instances. Fathers should have experienced representation to make sure their interests are protected.

Legal Advocacy To Preserve Your Rights As A Father

At Gardner Law Office, our attorneys have represented many fathers throughout Lehigh Valley in custody and paternity matters. We work with our clients to identify their children's needs and best interests, work to align each party's goals. If you want to be involved in your child's life, be a role model and have a positive influence on his or her development and growth, we can provide strong advocacy to protect your parental rights.

Contact Our Team

Call us at 610-228-4626 or send an email to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced lawyers.