Can the temporary custody arrangement become the final order?

To avoid confusion and ensure children’s continuous care, courts allow for a temporary custody arrangement during the proceedings, which takes effect until they issue a final decree to replace the interim order. Moreover, a temporary order can also be issued due to an emergency, such as a risk of harm to the child.

However, there are instances wherein courts retain the temporary custody arrangement upon issuance of the final order.

When the recommendation works out

Commonly, courts allow parents to agree on a temporary custody arrangement while waiting for the final custody order. When they cannot agree, a conference officer will recommend one to the court.

If the court considers the available factors and finds that the recommended arrangement is actually suitable to the case, it can make the temporary order final. However, this only applies if neither parent objects or files a pre-trial conference within 30 days from the final order’s issuance. Otherwise, the court would have to reevaluate the custody options and find an appropriate alternative agreeable to both parents.

Some counties in Pennsylvania exercise this practice while others might not. Hence, it is still best to check your county’s applicable rules on custody orders.

When the child’s well-being is on the line

Going back to the foundation of custody determination, courts may make a temporary custody order final if they determine it is in the child’s best interest.

There are many ways a custody proceeding can go. At the end of the day, a judge’s decision will depend on the relevant facts and circumstances and what would be best for the child involved.