Disentangling from a partner in a divorce or breakup is stressful enough without worrying about the way your income could affect the amount of time a court awards you with your child. Your top priority is helping your child adjust to their new reality. While the courts usually do look at each parent's income as they apportion custody, the good news is that this is only one of many aspects the court weighs in determining child custody.
How Does Income Affect What is Best for My Child?
Your income can directly or indirectly impact other factors the court will consider. For example, your income may directly affect where you live after your divorce or separation. Is your arrangement stable? Is your new residence in a safe neighborhood? Does the new residence have sufficient space or the items (such as a crib or place to sleep) your child needs?
Your income may also affect the amount of time you'll be able to spend with your child after the divorce, and this can also play a role in the custody decision. For example, if you're going to become the primary provider for your family, you may have less time to spend with your children than you did in the past.
What Other Factors Impact My Custody Decision?
The court is committed to putting forth a custody agreement that is in your child's best interest, and many factors come into making that determination. What you're able to offer your child financially matters, but the amount of time you're able to spend with them, the emotional support you can provide, and your ability to create a healthy environment also weigh heavily.
Some of the additional factors Pennsylvania courts take into consideration when determining the best interest of the child include:
- The parental duties and responsibilities performed by each parent prior to the divorce.
- The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life, and community life.
- The availability and involvement of the child's extended family.
- The preference of the child, taking into consideration the child's age, maturity, and judgment.
- The parents' abilities to meet the child's daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational, and special needs.
- The nearness or distance of the two parents' homes.
- The availability of each parent to care for the child or make appropriate childcare arrangements.
You Need the Help of an Experienced Legal Team
Custody is often messy. Understanding the role your income plays in your legally binding custody agreement requires the help of an experienced family attorney such as Joseph D. Lento. The Lento Family Law Team has years of experience helping parents through the most sensitive issue of divorce, child custody. They understand how important it is for your child's needs to come first and want to make sure you spend as much time with your child as possible. Call their offices today at 888.535.3686 or reach out online to set up a consultation.