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Harrisburg Family Law Blog

Don't believe these 3 mediation myths

When moving towards divorce, spouses are likely doing so with little knowledge about their options. Often, the information that they do have comes from internet searches, TV shows, and other third parties. Unfortunately, much of the information garnered from these sources is not accurate.

In fact, there are a number of myths surrounding the divorce process, including alternative dispute resolution options like mediation. It is important to know myths from facts and law before proceeding with your divorce. In this post, we will look at three things people believe about mediation that are not true.

On The Rise: Custody Disputes Over High School Football

A Pennsylvania man has gone to court to prevent his 17-year-old son from playing football. According to the New York Times, the case is part of a national trend. As public knowledge regarding the long-term effects of football injuries - and brain injuries in particular - has evolved, there has been a marked "increase in fights over whether to amend custody orders to prevent...children from playing the game."

The extent to which the number of disputes has risen is difficult to quantify, but the Times indicates that, in many parts of the country, football has replaced hockey as the sport most likely to be "at the center of custody battles."

Decisions you may not anticipate when developing a parenting plan

When most people think about child custody issues, they envision their ideal physical custody schedule. However, legal custody is also vital to consider.

Most parents share legal custody of their children, though they might not recognize what this means until a child gets older or unless certain issues arise. In this post, we will look at some of the questions you may need to resolve in the future, as well as what you can do now to minimize conflict surrounding legal custody decisions.

How does property division work in Pennsylvania?

One of the most frightening and contentious steps in a divorce is dividing assets. When there is money, debt and property at stake, it is very common for divorcing spouses to get defensive and possibly angry. As such, disputes can and do arise.

To avoid or at least minimize the arguments that arise during this process, it can be helpful to know some basic elements of how property division works in Pennsylvania.

4 realities of litigating a divorce that you should understand

If you are considering divorce or have already decided to divorce, then you may be scared, angry and anxious. These emotions are undoubtedly painful and they can make you feel defensive and ready to fight your way to a resolution.

People who are feeling this way as they head into a divorce often assume that litigation is the only and best option to get what they want. Before deciding on a course of action, there are some realities about litigation that you should be aware before making any decisions about how to resolve divorce-related matters.

A divorce closer to retirement age requires careful preparation

Some estimate that as many as half of all marriages will end in divorce, which suggests that divorce is not limited to any particualr age group, or other demographic.

In any circumstance, separating spouses should consider the impact that divorce will have on their financial, emotion and physical well-being. These considerations are even more important for divorcing spouses who are age 50 or older.  Spouses age 50 or older are closer to retirement, have generally amassed more assets, and have unique concerns like anticipated health issues, and the cost of post-secondary education for children.  Consulting an experienced family law attorney is the first step in addressing these concerns.

Siblings who wanted to stay together may be closer to adoption

In Pennsylvania alone, there are countless children longing for a family and home of their own. For many of them, adoption may feel like a lifetime away. For one set of siblings in Kansas, however, the wait may finally be coming to an end.

Almost 11 months ago, one state agency ran a short story about a family of five siblings who were hoping to be adopted together. Now, almost a year after the state was deluged by requests from hopeful families across the country, officials stated that the children may finally be getting closer to having a permanent placement. When questioned why the process has taken so long when there was such an outpouring of support, officials only commented that there are many steps in the process when there is a multiple child adoption.

Custody Orders: modification and enforceability

The ending of a marriage in a divorce is a difficult and emotionally complex time for all of the parties involved. The determination of child custody can likewise be just as troubling, especially for children and a parent who is not awarded primary physical custody. However, there are avenues a non-custodial parent can pursue under Pennsylvania laws that may allow a court to modify these orders.

Though it may be hard to accept when a parent is denied physical custody of a child, it is not permissible to defy any court orders concerning this matter. Parents who believe that a court has erred in its decision concerning custody may petition for the court to revisit the issue when there are serious concerns about the overall well-being of the child. These matters must be more serious than conflict over simple decisions a custodial parent makes or over a new significant other in the parent's life.

Understanding open adoption

Until the last few decades the profile of adoptive parents changed very little. The typical adoptive family was a married couple who sought to adopt an infant. Now children of all ages are adopted by parents at various stages in life. As adoption profiles have changed, so have the nature of adoptions.


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