2020 Pennsylvania Consolidated & Unconsolidated Statutes
Chapter 53 - Child Custody
Section 5323 - Award of custody

Universal Citation: 23 PA Cons Stat § 5323 (2020)
§ 5323. Award of custody.

(a) Types of award.--After considering the factors set forth in section 5328 (relating to factors to consider when awarding custody), the court may award any of the following types of custody if it is in the best interest of the child:

(1) Shared physical custody.

(2) Primary physical custody.

(3) Partial physical custody.

(4) Sole physical custody.

(5) Supervised physical custody.

(6) Shared legal custody.

(7) Sole legal custody.

(b) Interim award.--The court may issue an interim award of custody to a party who has standing under section 5324 (relating to standing for any form of physical custody or legal custody) or 5325 (relating to standing for partial physical custody and supervised physical custody) in the manner prescribed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure governing special relief in custody matters.

(c) Notice.--Any custody order shall include notice of a party's obligations under section 5337 (relating to relocation).

(d) Reasons for award.--The court shall delineate the reasons for its decision on the record in open court or in a written opinion or order.

(e) Safety conditions.--After considering the factors under section 5328(a)(2), if the court finds that there is an ongoing risk of harm to the child or an abused party and awards any form of custody to a party who committed the abuse or who has a household member who committed the abuse, the court shall include in the custody order safety conditions designed to protect the child or the abused party.

(f) Enforcement.--In awarding custody, the court shall specify the terms and conditions of the award in sufficient detail to enable a party to enforce the court order through law enforcement authorities.

(g) Contempt for noncompliance with any custody order.--

(1) A party who willfully fails to comply with any custody order may, as prescribed by general rule, be adjudged in contempt. Contempt shall be punishable by any one or more of the following:

(i) Imprisonment for a period of not more than six months.

(ii) A fine of not more than $500.

(iii) Probation for a period of not more than six months.

(iv) An order for nonrenewal, suspension or denial of operating privilege under section 4355 (relating to denial or suspension of licenses).

(v) Counsel fees and costs.

(2) An order committing an individual to jail under this section shall specify the condition which, when fulfilled, will result in the release of that individual.

(h) Parties in same residence.--Parties living separate and apart in the same residence may seek relief under this chapter, but any custody order made under such a circumstance shall be effective only upon:

(1) one party physically vacating the residence; or

(2) an order awarding one party exclusive possession of the residence.

Cross References. Section 5323 is referred to in sections 5329, 5336 of this title; section 4109 of Title 51 (Military Affairs).

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