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Pennsylvania child custody: The details matter

Figuring out who children will live with and how much time they will spend with each parent after divorce can be a real challenge for parents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Even when the time portion of a child custody order is figured out, there are a lot of other details that need to be considered and included in a custody plan. In the end, the details matter and can work to one's benefit.

Recently, the importance of custody details was brought to the public's attention when reality television celebrity Audrina Patridge required police assistance in order to secure her child from her ex for her custody time. Per the former couple's child custody agreement, they are to meet outside their local police station every Thursday, at 10 a.m., to transfer the child from one parent to the other. The exception to this would be on certain holidays where they switch off who gets their daughter every year.

On July 4, Ms. Patridge showed up to collect her daughter, and her ex never showed. She tried calling him but was unsuccessful in connecting with him. She finally asked the police to do a welfare check. Law enforcement officers went to her ex's home and found him there with his daughter. He claimed it was his turn for the holiday, which is why he never showed; however, he eventually handed the child over to her mother later in the evening.

Having a custody plan with precise details regarding parenting time and the custody exchange process allowed Ms. Patridge to seek police assistance when her ex failed to follow the terms outlined in the order. She is reportedly considering filing a contempt of court order against her ex. Events like the one described above would certainly help her case.

A vague child custody order just will not cut it in most cases. Specific details will either help both parents stay on the same page or allow one to seek assistance when the other fails to abide by the terms. Legal counsel can assist parents in Pennsylvania in establishing custody plans that are highly specific and fit their family's needs.

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