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Wexford Pennsylvania Family Law Blog

Divorce process can indeed be amicable

The dissolution of a marriage in Pennsylvania can understandably be a lengthy and emotionally exhausting process. For this reason, two divorcing spouses can quickly become hostile as they try to settle their divorce. However, two tips might help these parties to make their breakup as quick and amicable as possible.

First, the two spouses may benefit from trying to understand what actually caused their divorce. Various factors may cause a marital breakup, such as stress on the job, drug abuse, medical problems or infidelity. If the two individuals can determine what behaviors resulted in their breakup and honestly accept this reality, this may give them the closure they need to more peacefully move on from the marriage.

Is your child in danger? Request a child custody modification now

Many Pennsylvania parents will request a child custody modification due to changing life circumstances and -- depending on the situation -- a family law judge may or may not award such a request. That being said, there is one circumstance in which a court will always agree to the modification: when your child is in serious danger.

Ultimately, a family law court will always intervene when the best interests, health and well-being of your child are at risk. Therefore, if your child's life or health are in jeopardy, it's important to start gathering evidence and building a request for modification immediately.

Debt issues can easily spark divorce

A variety of problems can lead to the end of a marriage in Pennsylvania, but in many marital breakup cases, money is the root cause. Specifically, debt is the issue that drives the two spouses apart. Unfortunately, when two people fight about money during their marriage and thus decide to divorce, money can remain a major source of conflict during their divorce proceeding, too.

Research shows that over half of couples enter their relationships with debt. In addition, according to 40 percent of them, their financial burdens end up negatively impacting their relationships. Those who bicker frequently have a 30 percent greater chance of getting divorced.

Postnuptial and prenuptial agreements offer help during divorce

When two individuals decide to marry, they generally expect their marriage to last a long time. The reality, though, is that financial problems may quickly cause the marriage to break down. This is why many couples in Pennsylvania are now creating prenuptial agreements before they say their I Do's. For currently married couples who never put together prenuptial agreements, however, there is still hope. They can create what are called postnuptial agreements, which can help them to protect their financial interests in the same way that prenuptial agreements can during divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is designed to explain two spouses' intentions concerning how they use their earnings as well as their assets while married. It also explains how the two parties would like to address their assets in the event of divorce. A postnuptial agreement similarly describes how the individuals plan to utilize their property while married as well as divide it during a future divorce proceeding.

Child custody issues can complicate holidays

Dissolving a marriage can easily take a toll on a person from an emotional standpoint. This is particularly the case for any parent of a young child -- and especially during the holidays. A couple of tips, however, may help divorcing parents to effectively address the complex combination of the holidays and child custody in Pennsylvania.

In an ideal world, children whose parents have gotten divorced would have the opportunity to spend time with both parents every holiday. The reality, though, is that this may not be feasible. Even if it feasible, conflict can still easily erupt. For example, perhaps both parents agree to let Dad have the kids in the morning and then let Mom have the kids in the afternoon. Mom may show up at Dad's house at noon only to discover that Dad is just now carving his turkey, which means he is not ready to let the children go with Mom just yet.

Divorce can have a silver lining, too

In the United States, including in Pennsylvania, people generally dream of getting married and living in marital bliss long term. This is why divorce can be so painful: it is the opposite of the American dream. Unfortunately, between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who are married end up getting divorced. However, divorce can certainly come with positives as well.

For instance, research shows that three-quarters of couples experience major conflict with in-laws. Specifically, the relationship between the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law tends to be the most difficult to handle. Those who are going through divorce, however, can finally say goodbye to these negative relationships. After all, when people divorce their spouses, they essentially divorce their spouses' family members, too.

Is your decision to divorce a seasonal trend?

The winter holidays are special for many people. It’s a time to go ice skating, drink hot cocoa, build snowmen and … decide to get divorced?

While the holidays may seem to represent familial unity, it can often be the final straw for couples who are already experiencing marital stress. If you are considering divorce during this time of year, research indicates you are likely not alone.

Parents can help to minimize negative effects of divorce on kids

Breaking up with a spouse in Pennsylvania is undoubtedly a difficult event for an adult to experience. Still, just as adults can be negatively impacted by divorce, children can also experience the negative effects of divorce. Fortunately, parents can help to mitigate these negative effects in a couple of ways.

First, parents may want to be open about the divorce rather than trying to keep it a secret. The reality is that the children will find out about the marital breakup at some point, so it is best to be upfront about it early on and tackle it head-on. When informing children about a divorce, taking into consideration how old and mature they are to handle certain details is paramount.

Divorce presents unique challenges for those above 50

The rate of marital dissolution today is relatively high for individuals under age 50. However, the rate of divorce for people over age 50 has doubled since the early 1990s. Although divorce in Pennsylvania can certainly be tough both financially and emotionally at any age, those who are going through divorce later in life face unique challenges compared with their younger counterparts.

For instance, when people get divorced at older ages, they have typically amassed more assets. Splitting this property can be tough even in the most amicable of divorces, as the two parties may not necessarily see eye to eye on how to split their assets in a fair manner. This can ultimately take both an emotional and a financial toll on the couple.

Divorce rate dropping due to millennials

Research shows that millennials in Pennsylvania and elsewhere -- those who are currently in their 20s -- are deciding to stay married. As a result, millennial marriages are lasting a lot longer than the marriages of previous generations did. This, in turn, is causing the national divorce rate to drop drastically.

According to a recent study, young adults today are not getting married as quickly as their predecessors did. During the years leading up to their wedding dates, they are getting their personal goals, career and finances in order. As a result, their relationships are oftentimes healthier than they would have been otherwise.

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