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Pennsylvania Divorce Law Blog

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.

A 'gray divorce' can be simple and affordable

In recent decades, divorce rates nationally have been slowly and steadily decreasing. A notable exception, however, is divorce rates among Americans age 50 and older. So-called "gray divorce" has been increasing over time. This is likely due to longer life spans and more economic parity between working men and women.

While there are some advantages to later-life divorce (less likely to experience child custody issues, for instance), there is one significant disadvantage: the later in life you get divorced, the less time you have to recover financially. Therefore, couples going through a gray divorce need to ensure that their economic losses do not outweigh their ability to replenish retirement savings or their ability to live on a single income.

Preparation could help make adjusting to divorce easier

A marriage doesn't always go the way the couple in it planned. Sometimes, a marital relationship deteriorates so much that the best thing for all parties involved is to bring it to an end.

However, a person in such a situation may still be hesitant to enter into the divorce process. One thing that could be behind such hesitation is being scared about what the divorce will entail. They may have heard horror stories of divorces turning into long, expensive, emotionally draining ordeals.

How are child custody decisions made in Pennsylvania and how can an attorney help? P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at how Pennsylvania courts make decisions regarding child custody. As we noted, the central issue in any custody case is the best interests of the child, which is determined by considering a variety of factors.

In addition to the factors mentioned last time—those dealing more directly with the parents and children themselves, courts will also consider each parent’s relationship with the child, including. Such factors including things like: each parent’s willingness to promote a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent; present and past abuse; the responsibilities each party performs for the child; and attempts at parental alienation and each parent’s responsiveness to the needs of the child. 

How are child custody decisions made in Pennsylvania and how can an attorney help? P.1

Child custody is typically one of the most important issues, if not the most important issue, a couple has to resolve in divorce. Establishing a child custody arrangement is typically an emotionally challenging process for parents, particularly in contentious divorce cases.  

Pennsylvania, like other states, recognizes two categories of custody. Physical custody refers to the right of physical care and possession of a child, whereas legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding a child’s well-being such as the child’s education, the religious tradition in which the child will be raised, and health care matters. 

Thinking about divorce? Start early

Many people consider divorce for years before they actually make the final leap to do it. It is not an easy decision to leave a marriage that you likely hoped would last forever. Even when something serious happens, such as infidelity, spouses often try to work through it before deciding to part ways.

Just like any other legal matter in Pennsylvania, it can be helpful to start looking into the ins and outs of the process sooner than later. That way when you make the decision, you have some solid knowledge and understanding of what is to come. You can also be more confident in what you want out of the divorce and what your future may look like once everything is finalized. Going into the divorce process without an understanding of the possible outcomes can be extremely stressful and it can also lead to outcomes that you did not intend.

Divorce: Think about finalizing rather than winning or losing

Most people would tell you that marriage requires trust, and trust involves risk. Sharing your life with someone can be incredibly rewarding, but it also leaves you emotionally vulnerable if your spouse betrays your trust.

What many people fail to realize is that divorce also involves calculations of trust and risk. Whether you and your spouse negotiate terms on your own or with the help of attorneys, those negotiations will involve trust or lack of trust, and the results may change accordingly.