When parents file for divorce, custody and visitation arrangements might become a central focus of negotiations. Those who never went through the child custody agreement process might not realize different options and arrangements are possible. Parents may wish to familiarize themselves with the various types of visitation and custody types so they may negotiate an appropriate agreement in a Pennsylvania family court.
Examining the different arrangements available
Legal custody often becomes a critical element in child custody decisions. The parent with sole legal custody has decision-making authority over the child’s healthcare, schooling, and other matters. Sole legal custody is not the only available option, as parents may be given joint legal custody.
Although both parents may have joint physical custody, a parent with legal custody might not have physical custody – where the child mainly lives. Parents may also share joint physical custody, or the child could live in a particular residence with the parents moving in and out of the home on a scheduled basis.
Visitation schedules may vary from parent to parent, and visitations could be supervised or unsupervised. Supervised visitations might be necessary when concerns exist about the child’s safety.
Negotiating child custody and visitation arrangements
Divorce negotiations may involve more than asset distribution, as child custody arrangements could become prominent issues of discussion. Hopefully, both parents could devise a workable agreement that both accept. However, disagreements may exist, and the parents could find negotiations drag or require mediation.
Those unable to agree on child custody or visitation schedules might go to trial. The judge would then make a decision based on the best interests of the child. Even when the parties agree on custody and visitation matters, the judge has the final say and decision-making power.