The terms of some Pennsylvania child custody cases are fairly routine. The judge determines which parent will be the custodial parent, and a visitation schedule and financial support amounts are set for the non-custodial parent to follow. However, an unusual child custody case has recently come before a judge in another state.
A couple divorced 10 years ago, and the mother was given primary custody of their two young children. She married again not long after, with her new husband helping her raise her son and daughter. Earlier this year, the mother died, losing her fight with breast cancer, and her former husband wants custody of his children. He has tried to contact them numerous times, but he says the stepfather has denied him any interaction. The children have chosen to remain with their stepfather.
A report on the proceedings did not make clear what part the biological father has had in the lives of the children in the past years. At some point, he began paying child support, and the money has been placed in a bank account for the children, who are now teenagers. Both men went to court prepared for a legal battle but left with an arrangement amenable to all. A visitation schedule will be forthcoming, and the biological father and his two children will get together at least once a week.
When parents divorce, the children are often more devastated than either adult. Child custody agreements should be set to help the children adjust to this colossal change in their lives, but sometimes, parents use it as a weapon in their war against each other. Pennsylvania parents may need professional assistance as they try to decide the best course of action for them and their children during this difficult time.
Source: newstimes.com, "Custody battle ends amicably", Daniel Tepfer, Nov. 23, 2015