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Custody Proceedings with Unwed Parents

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It's not a bad idea to make sure your current relationship is stable before take your "ex" back for a custody hearing

By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, Family Law Division Leader, Harrisburg, PA

I often counsel one parent that is seeking to have a custody order entered to establish a substantial period of shared or partial physical custody of their child(ren).  They may come into my office with their new significant other to discuss the matter.  Among the concerns that court is legally obligated to investigate are as follows:

1)  Where is the parent living?;

2)  With whom are they living?;

3)  Is the parent seeking custody mature and able to provide for the child?;

4)  Is the home environment safe for the child(ren)?

Therefore, it should come as no shock to the prospective client, that the court may negatively infer from their current relationship whether or not they will provide a stable home for the child.  Courts in PA have long looked at a parent's nonmarital relationship as having an adverse effect on the child(ren), or that the relationship demonstrates that the parent is so immature or emotionally unstable as to be unfit to raise the children, and such a finding will support an award of custody to the other parent.

With this in mind, clients should have their own lives in a stable condition before they begin to look forward to a custody proceeding against their ex-spouse.  If you have questions about your current custody situation or about filing a complaint, contact the experienced team at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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