Sometimes, getting divorced is inevitable if two married individuals have irreconcilable differences. However, the divorce process does not necessarily need to destroy the family members' relationships. Here are a couple of steps that divorcing spouses can take to minimize the hostility often associated with divorce in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
First, before tackling property division, if the two spouses have minor children, they may want to sort out their custody matters first. Being on the same page in this area may, in turn, make their financial discussions much easier later on. Regarding custody, the two parents will need to discuss how to handle legal and physical custody. A parent who has legal custody can make decisions about the children's upbringing and welfare -- for instance, what religion they will be taught and what type of medical care they can receive. As far as physical custody, the children will live primarily with the parent to whom it is granted.
Second, it is generally a good idea for divorcing parties to try to settle outside of court. If they can resolve matters like asset distribution and child custody without further court intrusion, this can help them to feel more in control of the outcome of the divorce proceeding. In addition, the divorce process is often a quicker, more amicable process when traditional divorce litigation is avoided.
However, some of those who are going through divorce simply cannot agree on how to tackle certain divorce issues on their own. In this situation, a judge must step in to make these important decisions for them. Either way, an attorney will strive to protect the rights and best interests of his or her client each step of the way in Pennsylvania.