The Factors Courts Consider When Determining Child Custody

child custody Question:

My ex-wife has put in writing that she did not want custody of our son. Is this enough to get full custody during divorce?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan
Cordell & Cordell Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan, IV

Where I do practice in Pennsylvania, the court is required to look at 16 factors to determine what custody award is in the best interest of the child.

One factor is which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child. If it can be properly demonstrated to the court that the mother does not want the child, and therefore she cannot maintain a loving relationship with the child, such a factor may work against the mother in the custody case.

Typically, however, Pennsylvania courts do not rely on just one factor and look at all 16 in total when making a custody determination.

Due to the extremely sensitive and fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how your state’s laws can help you with this serious situation.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on,, and, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

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