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Pennsylvania child custody proceedings: Keep stress to a minimum

When you decided to divorce, you knew it would have a major impact on your children's lives. It doesn't necessarily mean your kids will cease to be able to function in life. In fact, there are several things you can do and several things you can avoid to help your family come to terms with its new normal in the least stressful way possible.

If you happen to be a father, you might have your work cut out for you to keep stress levels low and accomplish your divorce-related co-parenting goals. While progress has definitely been made in the family justice system, meaning it is no longer automatically assumed that mothers should have full legal and physical custody of their kids, dads still have to be prepared to show that they are capable, willing parents who do not wish to abdicate their parental obligations just because they are getting divorced.

Negotiation skills that come in handy in a divorce

How many Pennsylvania friends or family members do you have who are divorced? If you're even somewhat familiar with how their proceedings transpired, you likely know some who were able to swiftly resolve their differences to achieve fair and agreeable outcomes. On the other hand, you might also know some people caught up in long, drawn-out and contentious court battles.

Now that you're headed for divorce yourself, you no doubt wish to avoid the latter. If you and your spouse can barely stand the sight of each other at this time, you might definitely encounter negotiation challenges. That's why it's good to know where to seek additional support if you need it. It's also a good idea to brush up on your own negotiating skills.

Mediating child custody disputes may work to your benefit

When you think of your children, you may immediately experience a warm feeling of love for them. Because you care about your kids so much and only want the best for them, that warm feeling may also come with a tinge of guilt over the fact that you and the other parent have chosen to divorce.

Understandably, you may worry about what effects the divorce will have on your children and whether the child custody proceedings will turn in to a nightmarish affair. Luckily, your custody proceedings do not have to go through a formal courtroom process. Instead, you may want to consider mediating any custody disputes.

Mediation is great but not for everyone

More couples are seeking amicable and cooperative ways to end their marriages. Rather than taking their conflict to the public forum of the civil court, they choose mediation, collaboration or other more peaceful ways to divorce. Using these methods, couples discuss matters such as asset division, child custody and support issues with the assistance of neutral third parties.

Studies show that couples who successfully resolve their disputes using these alternative methods often have a better relationship after the divorce, which benefits everyone if they have children to co-parent. Unfortunately, alternative dispute resolution is not ideal for every situation.

How do I know if my marriage is over?

If you look back over the past year of your marriage and see more bad times than good, you may be wondering if divorce is the better option for you. Perhaps, like many couples, you have spent numerous years hoping things would get better or working on repairing the rifts in your relationship with your spouse.

You certainly do not want to look back on those as wasted years, but how many more will you sacrifice before you decide the marriage can't be saved?

Is divorce mediation an option for you?

Many Pennsylvania families will face significant lifestyle changes this year due to divorce. If yours is one of them and your family also includes children, you'll no doubt want to navigate the process through whatever means that will have the least negative impact on your kids. There's no escaping the fact that divorce affects every family member, and typically each person's needs are unique.

As a parent, you can be hopeful that with a strong support system in place, your children will be able to come to terms with the situation and adapt to your new way of doing things without too much stress. Divorce mediation is a form of negotiation many parents choose in order to achieve fair and satisfactory settlements. Like most legal processes, there are potential benefits and downsides to mediation.

Collaboration is possible during a marital breakup

You have decided to get a divorce and are looking forward to finally being able to live independently in the near future. However, your biggest fear is that the divorce process will drag on, only delaying the freedom you are longing for.

Fortunately, just because you are getting divorced does not mean you and your spouse have to treat your marital breakup like a brutal battle. Instead, you can use collaborative divorce to end the marriage as quickly and amicably as possible.

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Cantor & Meyer, P.C.
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2 South Orange Street
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Media, PA 19063

Phone: 484-441-6413
Fax: 610-566-6168
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