Pennsylvania parents who are considering ending their marriage might have an initial separation followed by second thoughts. Religion, friends and family, and even their own experience as children of divorce parents might affect their decision. However, they should keep in mind that remaining in this kind of limbo can be difficult for children. Parents need to be able to come to a decision and discuss it with their children.
One problem is that if the interim between separation and divorce drags on too long, it may make children think that their parents are going to change their minds and reconcile. Once the divorce is finalized, some children may be relieved that it is over while others might be devastated that their parents did not get back together as the delay made them expect.
Parents can go through counseling to discuss how to make the situation less difficult for their children. Counseling can also help in developing the co-parenting skills that will be essential in the years after the divorce.
Parents can work with the counselor and with their respective attorneys to create a parenting plan that covers issues such as child custody and visitation and that is in the best interests of the child. It may be best if parents can determine this and reach resolution without resorting to litigation, but if going to court is necessary, the judge will also attempt to put the child’s needs first. An attorney may also be able to prepare a parent for what to expect in the event of litigation. For example, the attorney might be able to develop strategies for how the parent could best present an argument for retaining child custody or a certain visitation schedule.