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How to Win a Custody Case in Pennsylvania

​​In any custody case in Pennsylvania there are 17 factors which the judge, by law, must consider. To "win," (that is, get a fair and just decision), you must "win" as many of these 17 points as possible. To read the full-text of the PA law on these 17 points, click here. But here, in clear, easy terms, is the formula for how to win a custody case in Pennsylvania:

1) let the other parent see your child; don't be selfish

2) don't physically or sexually hurt anyone, or threaten to do so

2.1) don't abuse your child (and thus avoid DHS/CYS involvement)

3) prove through daily actions that you're a parent to your child

4) provide stability for your child

5) have your extended family care and spend time with your child

6) encourage your child's bond with brothers & sisters

7) teach your child to have courage to always tell the truth

8) do not speak negatively about the other parent to the child

9) love your child and meet your child's emotional needs

10) meet all of your child's needs, in all areas of life

11) live relatively close to the other parent, if possible and if safe

12) spend time with your child, and make wise childcare decisions

13) cooperate with the other parent; resolve conflicts maturely

14) live clean and sober; don't abuse drugs or alcohol

15) be healthy, mentally and physically, and provide a safe home

16) do good for your child in every way; be mature and responsible

If you're already meeting all of these points, keep it up, you're doing a great job! If you're lacking on any points, then today is the day to make positive changes. Resolve to break bad habits or relationship patterns. Be a positive role model to your child. This includes the idea that you should never use the other parent's negative or selfish behavior to justify any bad behavior on your part. Perhaps most importantly, have the courage to get help. There are people who can and want to help you. If you need legal help, or if you have any questions about custody law in Pennsylvania, call me now at (215) 613-4280 or send an email to Thank you.

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