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Montgomery County Family Law Blog

Developing an effective parenting plan in Pennsylvania

To determine a successful schedule and agreement between parents about their children's activities, Pennsylvania may enforce the creation of a parenting plan. The parenting plan helps a Pennsylvania judge determine the scheduling and joint custody arrangements between two conflicting parents.

The key to the development of an effective parenting plan lies in collaboration. As you and your spouse want the best for your children after your divorce finalizes, the plan ensures that both parents understand their expectations in terms of parenting, scheduling and deciding all aspects of your child's life after your separation. In creating a plan and going through custody proceedings, it is essential that you hire an experienced divorce attorney, so that he or she can aid in the development of a fair parenting plan and represent you during a custody disagreement.

How is child custody handled when you're not married?

Married or not, one thing remains the same - when you split up, it's important for your kids' current and future well-being that you try to reach a compromise about issues regarding custody, visitation and support. Doing this in an amicable way may be difficult, but getting along civilly is the best gift you can give your child.

Many people believe that children automatically stay with their mother when unmarried couples have a baby. The fact is, Pennsylvania child custody laws are the same for all parents regardless of marital status. If parents can't agree on a custody agreement, a family court judge will make a custody decision based on the best interest of the child.

What you need to know about creating a prenuptial agreement

Marriage usually feels like forever. But marriages end every day, and it is in your best interest to be as prepared as possible. 

Prenuptial agreements can protect you if your marriage ends in divorce. While prenups are useful, they are not a catch-all protection. Prenups still must comply with Pennsylvania state law, otherwise your agreement may not be enforceable. 

Is a postnuptial agreement right for your marriage?

Most couples understand the elements and process of utilizing a prenuptial agreement. While those contracts may be more common, another option exists for couples who have married already and did not create an agreement before the wedding.

Postnuptial agreements provide an opportunity for married couples to tailor the division of assets and other terms of a potential divorce or separation. Although some may associate postnuptial agreements with marital infidelity, couples may choose to draft an agreement for any number of reasons during a happy marriage as well.

Is your spouse hiding assets in divorce?

As a child, the adults in your life may have taught you to always to see the best in others. Also, your parents or grandparents, even teachers may have also advised you to keep your suspicions in check and never to assume that someone is up to no good, especially if you don't have evidence to suggest it. At the same time, those who love you may have also instilled confidence and taught you to protect your rights and be proactive against injustice.  

You likely never expected those lessons to hit so close to home as they have since you decided to divorce. You hoped you'd be able to negotiate a fair and agreeable settlement, especially since you made it clear that your children's best interests are the priority. However, you suspect your spouse is trying to give you the short end of the stick regarding division of marital property and are wondering what to do about it. You'll be glad to know there are support resources available to help rectify the situation. 

Take steps to ensure your parenting plan benefits your family

Pennsylvania parents know that divorce is difficult and complex, but it does not always have to result in a stressful court battle. Some parents find it beneficial to draft a parenting plan out of court, a step that will allow you have more control over the details of your final custody and visitation order.

If you are drafting a parenting plan, it is wise to take steps to ensure that the decisions you make will be beneficial for years to come. It is easy to be swept up in the emotions that come with the end of a marriage, but it is prudent to consider what would be best for both your short-term interests and the long-term needs of you and your children.

Bird nesting: Simplifying post-divorce life for your kids

You don't really have any beef with your former spouse regarding parenting skills. You just don't want to be married to this person any longer. If someone were to tell you there is a way to help your kids retain a sense of normalcy and routine in their lives as you all move forward to a new lifestyle together, would you want to learn more about it? 

Pennsylvania parents and others are trying out a new trend known as bird nesting, except that it isn't really new; it's just seen a resurgence in recent years. There is even a television sitcom based on the idea. Of course, when it comes to decisions relating to your kids, making sure you have a strong support network before taking any action is a key to success. 

Annulment or divorce -- which is right for me?

Getting married is supposed to be a joyous thing. Yours may have started out that way, but now you are ready to get out of your marriage and move on with your life. How should you go about doing it? Which marriage dissolution method is right for you?

In Pennsylvania, there are various ways to dissolve a marriage -- traditional divorce, mediation and filing an uncontested divorce, to name a few. There are some individuals who want to go beyond just dissolving the relationship, though. They want to make it so, under the law, it never existed. If you find yourself in such a position, under the right circumstances, the annulment process may be for you. 

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.

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