Can my husband gain primary custody of our childrenif he is onparole?

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Can my husband gain primary custody of our childrenif he is onparole?

My husband left me and my kids 4 months ago, shortly after being released from state prison. I believe he has a felony but not sure. He does not pay child support at all. I don’t want to keep my kids from him; I believe that they need their dad (they are 4 and 7). However he is a chronic relapser; he has only been out of the state half-way house for 8 months and is still on parole. He believes that because he makes more money they belong with him. e have not legally separated as yet.

Asked on August 8, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Pennsylvania, like the other state in the union, makes determinations on the cusotdy of chidlren based upon a phrase that can seem a bit ambiguous: the best interests and welfare of the children. What that means is that the courts will look at the facts and circumstances of each case individually and make a determination based upon certain factors or criteria.  Making more money is not necessarily the defining line. The analysis by the courts includes consideration of all factors which have an effect upon the child's physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual well-being. SO they will look at prior custody arrangements including the amount of time each parent has spent with the child in the past; the involvement of each parent in the child's school, religious upbringing and medical care; whether there are other siblings or half-siblings in either parent's residence; the child's preference if the child can articulate a good reason for the preference (not my mom is too strict so I want to live with my dad); the school district and distance o0f each of the parent's homes; any psychological or physical conditions of both the parents and the children; drugs or alcohol abuse; whether the parents are able to communicate and cooperate with each other regarding the children; whether either parent has attempted to undermine the other parent's custody rights; and any other factors that may impact the minor children's best interests. That last line may be your in regarding his felony.  Please seek legal help.  Good luck.


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