As a parent facing divorce, you likely have concerns about how the court will decide their custody should you and your spouse fail to reach agreement on this critical issue. Pennsylvania courts always look to the best interests of your children when deciding any issues regarding them, but what does this really mean?

FindLaw explains that courts try to examine various important issues regarding both your children and you and your spouse as their parents before deciding on your kids’ ultimate post-divorce custody.

Parents as people

The court will want to know many important things about you and your spouse, including the following:

  • Which of you, if either, has a medical or other condition that would make it difficult for you to care for your children?
  • Which of you, if either, has a drug or alcohol problem that could negatively affect your children?
  • Which of you, if either, has an anger control problem?
  • Which of you, if either, has ever abused or neglected your children in the past?
  • Which of you, if either, has heavy job commitments that require you to work more than the normal number of hours per week?

Parents as parents

In addition, the court will want to know the amount of parenting each of you has provided to your children during the marriage, such as the following types of things:

  • Which of you cooked most of the family meals?
  • Which of you oversaw most of your children’s hygiene, such as baths, hair washing, teeth brushing, etc.?
  • Which of you oversaw most of your children’s homework?
  • Which of you attended most of your children’s school functions?
  • Which of you scheduled and then took your children to their doctor and dentist appointments?

If you intend to litigate the issue of child custody with your spouse, make sure you go to court prepared to testify as all of the above, plus any other pertinent issues surrounding your children.