Divorce impacts children of different ages very differently, and the impact can be ongoing. You'll need to be prepared for challenges, but by starting right, you can minimize the impact and speed healthy adjustment.
One of the factors for consideration in determining what is in the best interests of the child for a custody award is the preference of the child. It is common for the opinion of the child to be sought in the course of a custody evaluation. There is also the possibility that a child will appear in court to offer testimony. There are rules specific to the testimony of children in Pennsylvania. The policy of the Commonwealth is to promote procedures to protect children witnesses. These procedures are outlined in 42 Pa C.S.A. 5981 - 5988. For the purposes of the provisions in these sections, child is defined as an individual under sixteen (16) years of age. Per Section 5984.1, the court may direct that a child's testimony be recorded for subsequent presentation in court so long as the method accurately captures all information presented during such testimony.
If you are seeking a divorce and you and your current spouse are parents you need to lay the foundation for a happy and healthy future for yourself and your children. When divorcing there are both emotional and financial issues to consider. Issues surrounding children can be extremely contentious during a divorce, but a skilled attorney can help bring together to start working on issues together for the sake of the children.
When we work with you on your divorce, your divorce settlement agreement will contain all the important issues facing you and your spouse including who has what type of custody. If your relationship breaks down and one party refuses to recognize the other parent's custody rights, the aggrieved parent can try to have the agreement enforced in court.
Making the decision to your divorce can be difficult. If you have children, the thought of telling them about the split may be overwhelming. While it can be a very difficult conversation to have with your children, a bit of planning and commitment to compassion will make it easier on everyone.