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Pennsylvania Divorce Law Blog

Do-it-yourself divorces can be costly

Saving money is something people care about greatly in all sorts of contexts. So, it is not surprising that keeping costs down is something that is very important to many individuals who are going through a divorce here in Pennsylvania.

One option for trying to save money in a divorce that an individual may be tempted to go with is a do-it-yourself divorce through a divorce kit/form provider. However, there are many potential problems that a person here in Pennsylvania could encounter when they pick this option, including:

  • The forms/kit being incomplete.
  • The forms/kit being inaccurate.
  • The forms/kit not taking into account local variations in court rules.
  • The divorcing individual not having an attorney at hand to get clarification from when they are confused about a certain aspect of the divorce process. The court's clerks will tell you that you have made a mistake in the process or paperwork but are not permitted to tell you how to correct it.  Equally important, before you buy a kit, call your local court and find out what it charges to file a divorce. A filing fee of over $300.00 is not unusual.  An experienced lawyer knows how to save you literally hundreds of dollars in filing fees. If you see a lawyer advertising, for example, $219.00 COMPLETE or TOTAL, the filing fee is included,  NOT extra. That's the law in lawyer advertising. 

Keeping things civil with an ex-spouse

There are numerous reasons why a person might want things between their ex and them to remain civil during and after a divorce.

For one, it could help with keeping the divorce simple. Unnecessary conflict could greatly complicate a divorce. It could lead to a divorce becoming a longer, costlier and more stressful process than it has to be. 

Believing these two divorce myths could cost you time and money

Divorce is now so common that nearly everyone knows someone who has been through the process. In spite of how common it is, divorce is still widely misunderstood. There are certain myths that have persisted for years. And if clients go into a divorce believing that these myths are the true, it could make the process more difficult and expensive than it needs to be.

Earlier this summer, the Huffington Post published an article featuring about a dozen common divorce myths. In today's post, we'll focus on two that bear repeating.

Another uncontested celebrity divorce gets very little press

In early August, it was reported that Drew Barrymore recently finalized her divorce from husband Will Kopelman, who is also the father of their two children. Although the divorce was nationally mentioned in the press, the reporting was minimal.

The story could be low-profile because this is Drew Barrymore's third divorce (and therefore, readers might find it less newsworthy). But at least part of the reason for the lax reporting is the fact that the divorce was uncontested and seems to have been amiable.

When young couples divorce

Many misconceptions are out there about divorce. This includes misconceptions about divorces of younger couples. One of these is that younger couples automatically have it easier than older ones when it comes to divorce.

A marriage doesn't have to last decades for ending it to be a tough emotional experience. Just like any other divorcing couple, young couples can experience strong feelings, worries about their ability to move on and concerns about the future when divorcing. Young divorcing couples can also face some unique challenges. This includes difficulties stemming from judgment or misconceptions from others.

What time of year is divorce most common?

Different times of the year can see very different trends when it comes to many things. Might divorce be among these things? A recent study suggests it is. The study points to two times of the year seeing particularly high amounts of divorce filings.

The study, done at the University of Washington, looked at the filing times of Washington state divorce filings from the 2001-2015 period. From the review of these filings, the study found that filings tended to be at the highest levels in March and in August.

Divorce 100 years ago

Some recently released documents provide an interesting look at what some divorces looked like in the U.S. a century ago. The documents are recently unsealed New York divorce records from the early 20th century. That state automatically seals divorce records for 100 years.

One thing one might be struck by when looking over the details the New York Post recently highlighted of some of these old divorce records is the extreme nature of the allegations the parties leveled at each other in them. The allegations included accusations of: extreme verbal abuse, using hypnosis to induce marriage, massive pre-marital lies, trying to get a spouse to engage in prostitution and STDs affecting the marital relationship.

Breaking divorce-related anger without breaking the bank

There are times when the divorce process is necessarily long. Some couples have complicated estates that must be divided carefully. Child custody proceedings can also be lengthy.

But a significant number of divorces take longer than they need to simply because couples have unresolved anger and grief toward one another. Even if the divorce details are simple and straightforward, some couples will engage in lengthy and expensive legal battles over easily replaceable property, or will raise other disagreements which are more punitive than practical. This ends up hurting both spouses by making the divorce far more expensive and acrimonious than it needs to be.

Are divorce and child custody leading to fewer inter-state moves?

Moving to another state can be stressful and a very impactful life change. So, there are a variety of things that could make a person hesitant to make such a move.

It appears that hesitation to make these sorts of moves has been growing in the United States in recent decades. Data on inter-state migration in America between 1965 and 2015 indicates that the rate of people moving to other states has dropped considerably over this 5-decade period.

Protecting the kids from trauma when divorcing

For parents of young children, one of the things a divorce will involve is determining what will happen with child custody. Now, what arrangement is reached is not the only thing that can impact the kids greatly in regards to child custody. So too can what ended up happening in the process of the arrangement being reached. Protracted and contentious child custody battles cannot only be a harrowing experience for the parents involved, but also for the children.

Now, child custody is an incredibly impactful and important issue. This does not, however, mean that this issue has to descend into a legal quagmire in a divorce. When a divorcing couple is able to amicably come to agreements on issues related to child custody, getting a solid child custody agreement in place in an efficient matter as part of a simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce is an option they may have available. Attorneys skilled in such divorces can provide advice to individuals who desire to avoid an ugly custody dispute in their divorce on steps that can be taken to try to handle the matter of child custody in a manner that is amicable and steers clear of creating unnecessary trauma for the parents and the kids.