During and after a divorce, issues of child custody are often one of the most important and divisive factors. Pennsylvania parents are often likely to litigate even the smallest issues related to child custody. This can greatly drag out a divorce process and easily cost thousands of extra dollars. Children are often harmed the most by an extensively litigated divorce. Parents may wish to consider alternatives to litigation in order to resolve their custody disputes.
Mediation is a common alternative to traditional litigation. Parties interact with a mediator who assists them in reaching a decision. This removes the judge and the courtroom from the process and gives the couple much more freedom to decide things on their own. Just like in court, each person is entitled to legal representation during mediation. Another process is collaborative law. Each party is represented by counsel, and they agree not to litigate. If they decide to go back to court, they must find new attorneys.
While major factors, such as visitation schedules and legal custody, may require working with a mediator or going to court, many parents do not stop there. It is common for parents to continue dragging on the process by bringing many small issues and problems to court. This is often a waste of time, and parents could benefit from some alternatives. One of the best alternatives is co-parenting counseling. A counselor works with the parents to solve their small issues and strengthen their communication skills so they can better manage their situation without the intervention of a judge.
Custody disputes can be one of the most contentious divorce legal issues. Regardless of how a couple proceeds, they can benefit from the advice and counsel of their respective family law attorneys.