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Cohen & Cohen, P.C.

Over 66 Years Practicing Family Law



In all child custody cases, the primary goal of the court is to vigilantly protect the best interests of the child. In order to determine the best interests of the child, the court will evaluate each parent's or grandparent's ability to provide satisfactory care and security. The court will also consider a variety of factors before awarding custody to one or both parents. Some of these factors include:

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•  Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.
•  The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.
•  The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life and community life.
•  The availability of extended family.
•  The child's sibling relationships.
•  The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household.
•  The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment.
•  The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent.
•  Which party is more likely maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child's emotional needs.
•  Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child.
•  The proximity of the residences of the parties.
•  Each party's availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child care arrangements.
•  The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another.
•  The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party's household.
•  The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party's household.

Custody Relocation

If you wish to move out of the County with your children, you must give your spouse a Notice of Relocation before leaving. Your spouse must agree or you must get a court order permitting the relocation. The court will consider these factors.​

•  The nature, quality, extent of involvement and duration of the child's relationship with the party proposing to relocate and with the non-relocating party, siblings and other significant persons in the child's life.
•  The age, developmental stage, needs of the child and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child's physical, educational and emotional development taking into consideration any special needs of the child.
•  The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating party and the child through suitable custody arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties.
•  The child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child.
•  Whether there is an established pattern of conduct of either party to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the other party.
•  Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the party seeking the relocation, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity.
•  Whether the relocation will enhance the general quality of life for the child, including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity.
•  The reasons and motivation of each party for seeking or opposing the relocation.
•  Any other factor affecting the best interest of the child.

Child Custody Q & A

Below are some common questions regarding child custody: 

What is the difference between physical custody and legal custody? 
Physical custody outlines who has actual possession of the children. Legal custody includes the rights related to making important decisions about the children, sharing information generated by the children including things like medical reports, school records, etc. 

Can I move to another state with our children?
Moving to another state with your children is called a relocation. A relocation is not permitted without the other parent’s consent or a court order permitting relocation. A special notice must be sent to the other parent requesting their consent to the relocation before the move to another state or county in Pennsylvania may be made. 

How can I prepare myself for a custody battle?
In order to prepare yourself for a custody battle, you must be in a position to provide the children’s physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual needs and well-being. For more details, please contact Cohen & Cohen.


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