Equal Rights for Fathers in Pennsylvania Divorce Law

Studies on the divorce rate nationwide show differences in the divorce rate of first, second and third marriages. The divorce rate of first marriages is 50 percent; of second marriages, 67 percent; and of third marriages, 73 percent.  Although Pennsylvania has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, there were 36,345 Pennsylvania couples who ended their marriages in 2012 alone.

Traditionally, it was assumed that the mother would be given primary custody of the children following divorce. According to current Pennsylvania divorce law, fathers possess equal rights to custody and visitation.

Equal rights in custody and visitation

Pennsylvania law states that in any custody hearing, there is no presumption that custody should be awarded to one parent.  Pennsylvania’s child custody statute  also has a clause that reiterates the gender-neutral basis for awarding custody.

According to Pennsylvania law , the father has the right to at least a 50 percent share in the custody of his children unless he has a criminal record indicating he poses a threat to his children. For example, custody will not be given to a parent convicted of murder.

Ultimately, the court determines what is in the best interests of the child in deciding the custody arrangement. Factors considered by the court include:

  • The child’s preference
  • Which of the parents is most likely to facilitate a relationship between their child and the other parent
  • History of abuse or ongoing abuse
  • Criminal convictions

An experienced Camp Hill fathers’ rights lawyer understands the factors the court uses to make its custody determination and counsels you accordingly.

Protecting divorcing fathers’ rights for more than 20 years

Serving South Central Pennsylvania, John F. King, Esq. is dedicated to fathers’ rights in divorce, custody, visitation and support matters. Sensitive to how difficult a father’s situation may be, The Guy’s Attorney provides immediate personal attention to clients. To learn more, call The Guy’s Attorney, John F. King, at 717.412.0244.