An adult wearing glasses reads a book to a baby who is sitting on their lap. Both are dressed in teal tops. The baby appears curious and is touching the pages of the book. They are sitting on a light-colored sofa in a bright room.

If you are a divorcing parent, you are most likely very concerned about the future you will have with your child. Please continue reading to learn more about child custody in Pennsylvania and how our experienced Pennsylvania family law attorneys can help you through every step of the legal process ahead. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the different types of child custody agreements in Pennsylvania?

The two primary types of child custody in Pennsylvania are legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody refers to where a child spends the majority of his or her time. While all parents want to live with their child, the truth is, our firm often encourages parents to fight for legal custody, at the very least, as legal custody gives parents the authority to make certain key life decisions for their child, such as where the child will go to school, what kind of medical care the child can receive, the religion the child will practice, and more. Generally, however, courts will grant parents joint physical and legal custody of the child, as long as it is in the child’s best interest. 

What factors will Pennsylvania courts consider when determining child custody?

Though every situation is different, Pennsylvania courts will consider various factors when deciding on child custody terms, such as:

  • Your child’s age, and if he or she is of a certain age/maturity, whether he or she has a preference
  • Whether your child has any special needs
  • The geographical proximity between you and your spouse
  • The relationship you and your spouse have with your child
  • You and your spouse’s financial circumstances
  • Whether the child has been exposed to substance abuse, domestic violence, or anything else that may question you or your spouse’s parental fitness

Can my child custody agreement change?

As our lives change, so do our needs, circumstances, and the needs/circumstances of our children. That is why, sometimes, Pennsylvania courts will allow parents to modify their child custody agreement, as long as one parent can prove that there has been a substantial change of circumstances. Some of those circumstances can include losing a job, getting a new job, remarrying, and more. 


We understand that going through the legal system alone can be both confusing and highly stressful. That is why it is our job to help you through every step of the process ahead. For years, we have been helping clients throughout Lancaster County and its surrounding areas through a wide range of legal matters, including personal injury cases, criminal defense matters, family law issues, estate planning law matters, and more. If you need legal assistance, we are here to help. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.