When individuals with children decide to separate or get divorced, custody is almost always in issue that needs to be resolved between the parents. For some, custody agreements can be reached easily and without any problems. For others, custody can often be an acrimonious issue between the parents. Parents, no doubt, have many questions about custody in Bucks County. Below, Kevin Zlock, a Bucks County custody lawyer, answers some questions about custody cases in Pennsylvania.
Q: What are the factors that determine which parent gets full custody?
That’s a long answer. There are 16 factors listed, and it’s more of a gut check. It’s what makes sense. If one parent says, “I work the night shift, but I want as many overnights as I can while I am at work, it won’t make sense. The judges here in Bucks County are very good judges. They do this every day, and they can see through what people’s stories are- if they are not being accurate or if they are not being truthful. They can make the determinations, which I call a gut check, and do the right thing.
So any fact in your life that affects the kids affects custody, and vice versa. Hence if you want to maximize your chance at winning a certain custody result, then the facts in your life have to support that custody result. Don’t come in and say, “I want overnights when I am working the night shift.”
Question: Can I resolve my custody issue without having a custody Hearing?
Absolutely. That’s a good question. Most people do not want to go to a hearing. Most people don’t want to have their children go through an evaluation or heaven forbid, testify. They don’t want to go through the emotional trauma themselves. The cost of it.
Most people settle their custody matters through an agreement, a stipulation. It can be done with very little cost if both parties can agree on all the terms of it. So the answer is yes, and that is the preferred way.