One of the most difficult types of disputes that arise in Pennsylvania divorce cases is child custody and visitation. People tend to have a lot of emotions about this issue. There are several ways that people may resolve these kinds of disputes both during the divorce and afterwards.
Litigation is the traditional way that parties resolve child custody disputes. Some people try to litigate too much, heading to court to argue about the smallest of disputes after they have child custody orders in place. Litigation can become expensive. For small disputes, such as participation in extracurricular activities, it is better to try to resolve them outside of court. Even major disagreements regarding custody and visitation time can be resolved by using alternative dispute resolution methods.
Mediation may help parties to reach agreements. Both parents meet with a mediator who is trained to facilitate agreements between the parties. If an agreement is reached through mediation, it is important for it to be formalized and filed with the court so that it becomes part of the court's orders. They can also try a collaborative divorce process. In this type of dispute resolution, each parent hires his or her own collaborative attorney and agrees not to engage in litigation. They then all work together to resolve the dispute.
Reaching a resolution in divorces does not always have to involve bitter courtroom battles. Alternative dispute resolution methods may help people to resolve their differences so that they can move forward with their lives. When cases involve children, the parents must realize that they will likely have to work together to parent their children for many years. A family law attorney may help a client to view the situation through the lens of what is in the child's best interests.