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Child custody court decisions not always a given

Pennsylvania mothers may be interested to learn of a recent demonstration that was held in front of a courthouse in a neighboring state. Women were protesting in an attempt to make others aware of a problem fairly recurrent in child custody judgements in the area. Many people may think that judges always rule for the mother in a child custody hearing, but these women say that guess would be wrong.

The protest group is from a shelter for battered women. While there are no official numbers, they want the surrounding public to know that the number of fathers who are given custody of their children is growing. In many cases that would be a good thing.  However, the concern comes for fathers who are alleged abusers and molesters.

A spokesperson for the group says that these husbands and fathers have the money to hire lawyers who can present a case compelling enough that the judge will rule in their favor, despite any past history the men may have. Many of the mothers are dependent upon their husbands financially and do not have the fiscal resources to fight back. An official from the Superior Court’s Family Division advised women who find themselves in that type of situation to seek legal counsel through the legal aid department and to speak to a county-provided counselor in situations of domestic abuse.

The court in Pennsylvania looks at many factors, including past abusive history, to determine the best interest of the child. Although the court prefers the parents to come to a decision on their own, the judge will become involved if they cannot reach an agreement. Parents may want to contact someone who has a thorough knowledge of family law if they require counsel in reaching a satisfactory child custody resolution.

Source:, “Women rally outside Passaic court for fairness in child-custody battles”, Richard Cowen, May 6, 2016


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