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Montgomery County Family Law Blog

Is your summertime custody plan ready?

Whether you are on the cusp of finalizing your divorce or you have been divorced for a while now, if you have children, you know that figuring out custody plans that meet your needs and meet all Pennsylvania family law requirements can be a challenge. You may find that certain times of the year, you'll want to change things up in your custody agreement. For example, school schedule custody needs may be different than summertime custody needs.

The school year is quickly coming to a close. Given the time of year, you want to make summer plans with your children, but the custody agreement you've reached may not work for your summertime plans. What can you do

Separation: a better choice than divorce for your family?

When a marriage is over, it can cause conflict and stress for everyone in the family, including the children. Pennsylvania couples facing the prospect of divorce may wish to move through this process slowly, making smart and practical decisions. If divorce is not an immediate option or you are unsure if you want to move forward with it, you may consider the option for legal separation. 

Legal separation is a way for you to have formal custody and support orders without actually finalizing your divorce. This can allow both parties the time needed to carefully consider the terms of a future divorce or simply live separately if divorce is not an option. Before you make any important decisions that will affect the future of your family, you may find it helpful to learn more about the legal separation process.

Your legal choices will impact your divorce

You may have made your decision to divorce after months (or years) of consideration. Then again, you might be one of many in Pennsylvania who decided to take the divorce route following an acute crisis event in your marriage, such as revealed infidelity or a domestic violence situation. Regardless of the particular details that led to your decision, your focus now is likely how to keep stress levels as low as possible as you navigate the process and move on to a new lifestyle.

It's true that divorce is seldom, if ever, easy. However, it's not true that every divorce situation is wrought with contentious courtroom battles, financial disaster and long-term negative consequences. In fact, it's often possible to get through it all with relatively few obstacles and achieve a fair and agreeable settlement in a reasonable amount of time. The type of legal representation you choose can greatly affect your outcome.

Good listening skills are essential to divorce mediation

When you and your spouse disagreed, you more than likely heard what they said, but may not have really listened. You aren't alone. Most people hear what the other party says in order to formulate a response, not necessarily to understand the other person's point of view, especially during an argument.

Even though you and your soon-to-be former spouse may now agree that divorce mediation is your best option, going into the process without making a commitment to really listen to the other party could doom it before it begins. Instead, each of you may need to work toward keeping an open mind, an open heart and open ears in order to make mediation work best for your situation.

Your use of social media may affect your custody issues

When parents decide to end their relationship, determining custody and visitation becomes a priority. Each parent may have his or her own idea of what that should look like. If their respective pictures remain too far apart to negotiate a compromise, going to court may be necessary.

Information reigns when it comes to litigation. In the quest to show the court that you are the better parent and that granting you custody would serve the best interests of the children, you may require evidence that the other parent isn't the right choice to fill that role. One place that many people now turn for such information is social media.

Unmarried dads must protect their parental rights

When you and your partner decided to move in together, you may have hoped for an ideal life. Whatever the reasons for putting off or rejecting the institution of marriage, your life together felt complete. Even when your first child arrived, it may not have occurred to you that there would be legal ramifications when raising a family without a marriage license.

Now that your relationship is coming to an end, you may be shocked to realize that your partner has primary rights to the children you have been raising together.

Coping mechanisms to help children navigate divorce

If a foolproof means of helping your kids survive your divorce existed, you'd likely want to learn more about it. However, there's no right or wrong way to cope, and you know your kids better than anyone. There will be good days and bad. 

There are methods that other parents have used to help their children adapt to post-divorce lifestyles. Keeping these in mind and also being unafraid to reach out for support if you need it can increase the chances for overcoming obstacles that arise.

How to prevent custody problems during the holidays

When you got divorced, you likely sat your children down and discussed upcoming changes you would likely take place. Some things were going to change in major ways. Others would be similar to the way things have always been.

With Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season ahead, you may want to think about how to keep potential child custody problems from arising. Hopefully, you and your former spouse have an existing court order that spells it all out for everyone involved, such as who gets the kids for which holidays and so on. However, even a set plan does not guarantee problems won't arise. The key to swift solutions involves knowing ahead of time where to turn for help.

Child custody and special considerations in a military divorce

There is no such thing as an easy divorce, but for Pennsylvania military families, divorce can be especially difficult. From the potential for deployment to outlining parenting plans, there is no easy solution to many of the issues facing these families. For this reason, a military service member or spouse contemplating a divorce would be wise to seek necessary help when navigating this process.

Understandably, child custody is one of the most sensitive issues that will affect a military divorce. It's normal to have concerns over what will happen to your children and if they will be negatively impacted by the end of your marriage. Whether you are active duty or married to a person who is active duty, you would be wise to learn how to protect your interests and your parental rights.

Reducing the conflict in your high-conflict divorce

Even at the best of times, divorce is stressful for all involved to one degree or another. Of course, every divorce is different, and some are more upsetting than others. One of the most agonizing types of these is the high-conflict divorce, when the legal processes may drag on for months or even years, sometimes with no end in sight, because your divorcing spouse refuses to cooperate.

Whether your ex won't even try to see eye-to-eye or make any concessions, or if he or she just seems to enjoy watching you suffer, you may feel like you can't win. According to advisors, though, changing that very mindset on your own terms might prove key to improving your mental health throughout the divorce process. If you can stop viewing your divorce as a battle with a winner and a loser and instead concentrate on your own emotional well-being, you may come out better in the long run.

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