Divorce is painful. Marriage is a contract between two individuals but, unlike other contracts, it is not an “arms’ length” arrangement; i.e., divorce involves intense emotions which are often difficult to conceal. A break-up of the family unit is particularly hard on the children. Children who have always thought of their parents as all one word — “Mom-n-Dad” — are now compelled to think of them as individuals; i.e., “Mom, Dad”; or, even worse, led to believe that they must choose; i.e., Mom or Dad.
In Pennsylvania, the rules relating to the three major areas of family law are based upon principles of fairness. Support calculations take into consideration the net monthly incomes of both parents; the standard in custody determinations is the best interests of the child. The law allows for divorce without attributing blame (i.e., “no-fault”), and distributes marital assets and liabilities equitably, not necessarily equally (i.e., again, based upon principles of fairness – assuming, that is, that the court must become actively involved in support, custody, equitable distribution of marital property and/or divorce battles between the parties). [Read more…]