In making an order for custody, visitation or partial custody to either parent, the Court shall consider, among other factors, whose father is more likely to encourage, permit and allow frequent and continuous contact and physical access between the child and the non-custodial parent. In addition, the Court examines each parent and the present and past violent or abusive conduct of adult family that may include, but is not limited to, abusive conduct, as defined under the law of October 7, 1976 (P.L. 1090, no. 218), known as protection from abuse Act. The Court shall award custody only when it is in the best interests of the child. In addition, an order for shared custody may be granted by the Court when it is in the best interests of the child:At the request of one or both parents. When the parties have agreed to an award of custody.
[Based on Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes-Title 23-section: 5303]Child Support:
Pennsylvania uses the "income shares" to determine the child support. Child and spousal support are allocated under the Pennsylvania child support guidelines as established by the general rule by the Supreme Court, to ensure that persons are likewise are treated equally. The guidelines are based on the reasonable needs of the child or of the spouse seeking support and the ability of the debtor to provide support. In determining the reasonable needs of the child or of the spouse seeking support and the ability of the debtor to provide support, the guidelines stress the primary incomes, net and gain the ability of the parties, with deviations permissible for unusual needs, special charges and other factors, as the parties ' activities, such as warrants special attention. In any proceedings to establish or modify an order requiring the payment of child support, the Court must ascertain the ability of each parent to provide health coverage for children of the parties and the order must provide medical coverage for every child as appropriate.
If applicable for the purposes of this section, a court may order one or both parents who are separated, divorced, single or otherwise subject to an obligation of support exists to provide equally for educational costs of their child, if this support is required before or after the child has reached 18 years of age. The responsibility to provide for the costs of postsecondary education is a responsibility shared between both parents. [Based on Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes-Title 23-sections: 4322, 4326 and 4327]