When a Pennsylvania resident is considering separating from his or her spouse, the most important decision he or she will make is whether to follow through with the divorce. However, once a decision is made, a lot more decisions will need to be considered carefully relating to the separation and dissolution of the marriage. This article will discuss the most important decisions that separating Pennsylvania spouses will have to make during their divorce proceedings.
First and foremost, parents will need to think about how they will divide physical custody of their children. If one of the other parent will have sole custody, what will the visitation plan of the other parent look like? Also, how much will the noncustodial parent need to pay in child support, and how long will those payments last?
Next, divorcing couples need to consider whether or not spousal support (or alimony) will need to be paid. The spouse that is earning more money and/or has more financial assets at his or her disposal will be the one required to pay alimony, and that individual will likely want to pay as little as possible. Meanwhile, the spouse set to receive alimony will usually want to receive as much as possible. This could be a source of disagreement that should be addressed as early as possible during divorce settlement negotiations.
In addition, spouses will need to consider their marital assets and marital debts, which are important in deciding how assets will be divided. Sometimes, disagreements can arise over what constitutes a marital asset and what constitutes an individual asset. This is also a potential source of disagreement and needs to be addressed carefully and diplomatically during divorce settlement negotiations.
These are just a handful of the questions that Pennsylvania spouses will need to ask themselves as they enter divorce proceedings. An experienced family law attorney can help a divorcing spouse answer these questions and any others that apply to his or her unique circumstances.
Source: Dummies, “Basic divorce decisions,” John Ventura and Mary Reed, accessed April 01, 2016