When Children are Involved in Divorce Cases

When a couple with children divorces, there is another realm of issues that need to be addressed. Ideally, it is best for parents to work with one another and/or with a divorce mediator to collectively reach a decision regarding their children. Divorce lawyers like when parents attempt to work through their issues to reach an agreement because parents are the ones who know their children best so it is better when they can make the decision for where the children will reside. When parents are unable to reach a custody arrangement on their own or with help from a Divorce Mediator, the court is forced to make the decision for them. That is why many people believe there are great benefits to divorce mediation. Often recommended in the beginning phases of the divorce process, divorce mediation allows for couples to openly discuss and work towards reaching a decision that they agree is best for their child/children involved.

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When couples are unable to reach an agreement and Child Custody is a factor in the couple’s PA divorce, the court will make the decision with the child’s best interest in mind. So depending on the situation, one parent may be awarded sole custody with another having visitation or both parents may be awarded joint custody if that is what is believed to be best for the child. When a custody decision is required to be made within the state of Pennsylvania, the courts will consider multiple factors such as: each parent’s capability to physically, emotionally and socially care for that child, the parent that would be more apt and willing to maintain contact between the child and parent with visitation, any poor behavior exhibited by either spouse and the child’s preference for where they wish to live. Once this decision is made, all parties must act appropriately and abide by the detailed outlined in the custody agreement. When one parent is not pleased with the results, they may file a Petition for Modification.

Once Child Custody is determined, the next order of business to address is in regards to child support, which in Pennsylvania, is based on the combined net income of both parents and the number of children they must care for. Within this decision, are other contributing factors such providing health care for the children and sometimes, support for future educational expenses. Once child support is determined, it is permanent. If one spouse experiences an increase or decrease in salary or the child has graduated high school, a parent can put in a request to have the support updated to reflect the current situation.

When seeking a divorce, it is always a good idea to hire an attorney. Most legal professionals offer free consultations so during the meeting, it is important to ask a lot of questions and make sure they are a right fit for you.

As a previous educator and now, freelance Writer, Sarah Smith enjoys writing about legal topics impacting today’s youth and their connection to local law firms such as Reinherz & Reinherz Law Offices.

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