Pennsylvania parents who find themselves involved in a custody battle should take several precautions. They should be careful about who they speak to regarding their strategy. This includes both the other parent and any friends who might tell the parent.
They should be careful about how they present themselves in the courtroom. However angry they may be at the other parent, they should not show this in court. Even if their spouse was a poor partner, they might still be a good parent. A parent who appears unable to cooperate might lose custody. Attempting to speak for the children and to predict their wishes may similarly backfire. Older children might be able to express a preference for living with one parent, but if so, they should do themselves and not through that parent. Parents should not allow themselves to be influenced by pressure from family members who may insist they should ask for more visitation or child support.
Parents should not assume that just because they have an attorney there is no work for them to do. They should research and understand state custody laws and should follow up to make sure any necessary paperwork is submitted on time.
A judge will make a child custody decision based on the best interests of the child. This will mean taking into account the behavior of both parents in court along with many other factors including what situation will best help the child adjust. Whatever the judge’s decision is, if parents can work together, this will also help children adjust. Parents might create an agreement that covers any potential areas of conflict ranging from how they will handle vacations to when children will meet new partners.