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What to include in your parenting plan

Often, divorce sets off a series of changes, which can be emotionally upsetting and destabilizing for everyone involved. With children in the picture, divorcing parents should prioritize the children's physical and emotional well-being throughout the process.

One way in which parents can create a more stable experience is by agreeing on a parenting plan. Often, courts require parents to submit a plan. When parents cannot agree, they typically end up battling out their issues in court, and the judge then issues an order. While judges generally look at the best interests of the children when making their decisions, parents tend to be in a better position to understand their children's needs. Your attorney can help you work out an agreement that truly benefits your children.

Should I move out of the marital home?

One major issue that you may encounter during your divorce proceedings is deciding to move out of your marital home in Pennsylvania. You may be ready to get away from your soon-to-be ex-partner, but not thinking the decision through could cause some potential complications with your situation. If your name is on the deed or lease, unless the courts say otherwise, you do not have any obligation to leave. You have the same rights to live in the property as your former spouse.

However, if you are ready to move into a place where you can start over, there are some things you should consider first.

How to remain involved with your children as the non-custodial parent

If you have been through a divorce and finally feel as if you are settling into a new normal, you may be quick to realize that you have a whole new challenge facing you. As the non-custodial parent, it is difficult to stay involved with your children and their day-to-day activities. It may now take some creativity and extra effort on your part to be involved in everything that is important to them. As you set boundaries for these new relationships, there are a few ways you can work to strengthen the connection with your children when they do not live with you.

How property is divided in a Pennsylvania divorce

If a divorcing couple cannot agree on how their property should be divided, the court steps in. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means that the Court of Common Pleas will disburse marital assets in an equitable manner. You may think that this means a fifty-fifty distribution, but that might not be what the court deems to be fair.

Getting Community Support During Your Divorce

1. Get professional help. Choose a lawyer to guide you through the divorce process and ensure you and your children are cared for now and in the future. Consider a therapist to help you and your children navigate the emotions and trials of the separation and divorce. Your lawyer may know a good family therapist so don't hesitate to ask for a referral. If cost is an issue, look for a university near you that offers a counseling program; they almost always have a clinic staffed by their students and the cost is significantly less than seeing someone in private practice. 2. Notify your boss. At some point in this process, you may take time off work, leave early, or come in late. Discuss scheduling needs in advance with your boss to prevent a negative backlash. 3. Tell your friends what you need. The best way to enlist your friend's support is to be specific about what you need. Explain, "I need you to let me talk, cry, and rage. I still want to come to family events like your 4th of July pool party. While I will need your advice going forward, right now I really just need you to listen." 4. Talk to your children's teachers and coaches. Teachers need to be aware of possible changes in your child's behavior. Keep them on the look out for signs of problems with your children. Children sometimes have a different relationship with their teachers and coaches than their parents and may be more willing to confide in them. Your school may have resources such as a divorce support group or a school counselor who can help your kids. Seeing you talk about the situation with others gives your children permission to talk. It lets them know that they do not need to be ashamed or embarrassed. 5. Tap into your community resources. Religious organizations sometimes offer divorce support groups. Meetup.com lists local groups for people going through a divorce. While these meetings are usually not run by professionals, they are usually free. Also, look into Parents Without Partners, an organization specifically for single parents. 6. Call a hotline if you're on the edge. Professional help is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is no shame in calling one of these places when it's 2 a.m. and all you can do is sob, or your children have truly pushed you to the brink and you have nowhere to turn, or your anger has become so great that it feels out of control.


Perfect New Year's resolutions during divorce

Whether you have spent the last year or the past decade dealing with overwhelming marital drama, the new year is a great time to center yourself and re-focus on what you want to accomplish in your life. Here are some ideas of helpful New Year's resolutions that can inspire you no matter which phase of the divorce process you are in.

The benefits of mediating a divorce

Divorce is an intense, emotional time for everyone involved. As you and your ex-spouse work to separate your assets and minimize the damage, your children may be lost in the shuffle. Taking a divorce to court can be a tough experience, and mediation may be easier if you and your ex are on amicable terms.

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