The day you were married, it wasn't likely you spent the hours envisioning yourself standing in a divorce court in Pennsylvania. Fast forward time to the current issues you now face.
Life happens. More often than not, things don't go as planned. For whatever reasons, you have chosen to end your marriage. Although you will no longer share a home and your relationship with your former spouse will change, if you are parents, you will still share your children.
Keeping your children's best interests at heart
You might be spending a lot of time these days planning your new lifestyle, perhaps seeking employment and trying to devise a plan for the care and upbringing of your children that will help them reach their full potentials in life.
The following ideas may help:
- Children are resilient but not entirely immune to the stress and uncertainty that often arise through divorce.
- Your children love you and their other parent. Trying to pit them against the other parent does more harm than good and can set a negative tone for family relationships moving forward.
- The court is typically of the opinion that children fare best when provided ample time with both parents. Unless you have reason to believe this would be a detriment to your children, you may want to make it a primary goal.
- You may want to cooperate and compromise in order to maintain a peaceable arrangement that best takes care of your children's basic physical and emotional needs.
The well-being of your children is of obvious and paramount importance. You have every right to protect them and do what is best for their good health in mind and body.
Perhaps shared parenting is the way to go
Providing there's been no serious communication breakdown between you and your former spouse, developing a shared parenting plan together may be what's best for your family.
Even if you both get along well, it may still prove beneficial to seek representation to negotiate a future parenting plan.
Some of the main benefits of shared parenting include the following:
- You can catch a break: It's a given you love your children. However, everyone can use a break once in a while, and knowing there will be regular times when your former spouses takes on the responsibility of caring for your children assures you there will be respite for times when you may feel fatigued.
- Little room for negative surprises: Whether planning holidays or putting in for overtime at work, scheduling is made easier when your parenting plan is written out and responsibilities are shared. This cuts down on unplanned visits and unreasonable demands.
- Your children tend to follow your lead: When your kids see you both putting forth effort to do what's best for them, and being willing to work as a team, they are likely to follow suit in doing their part to serve the family's needs as well.
Even if you and your former spouse are on the same page in your desire to create a shared parenting agreement, the laws that govern such matters are often complex.
The court has the final say in all issues related to child custody, visitation and support in Pennsylvania. However, a judge is likely interested in your needs and opinions as a parent. One of the easiest ways to seek swift and agreeable solutions to child-related issues in divorce is to act alongside competent legal assistance.