Custody While the Parents Still Live in the Same House

Kids often get caught in the middle of divorce conflicts. But what if Mom and Dad are in the same house, even after separation?

An interesting question came up the other day: In Pennsylvania, can Mom or Dad get a custody of a child if both parents are still living together, after separation?

The Scenario

Mom and Dad are on the brink of a divorce and consider themselves separated. However, for whatever reason, Mom and Dad still live under the same roof. Can Mom or Dad get a binding custody order for Child?

The Answer

Under the law, Mom or Dad can get a custody order. However, pursuant to 23 Pa. C.S. 5323, the custody order will only be effective when Mom or Dad vacate the home or when the Court orders that Mom or Dad have exclusive possession of the home.

The results will likely vary somewhat by county. For instance, some counties may not grant motions or conferences while both parties live in the same home.

Is It a Good Idea to Remain in the Same Home After Separation?

This depends on the circumstances of each case. In some instances, Mom and Dad may want to live in the same home to reduce costs through the divorce. However, this may promote conflict between Mom and Dad and cause issues for the children. In other instances, Mom and Dad may get along fine. Each case is different. If you are unsure whether to stay in the same home as your spouse post-separation, speak the Pittsburgh Family Attorneys at Dodaro, Matta, & Cambest, P.C. today at 412-243-1600.

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