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Changes in child support and other family law trends

Some lawyers used to feel they could predict the outcome of a couple's divorce within a short time after meeting them. This is becoming less common as co-parenting laws change and couples in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are turning to more cooperative post-divorce attitude. With these changes, issues like child support and alimony may soon be things of the past.

Until recent generations, it was taken for granted that, in the event of a divorce, the mother would retain custody of the children. The father was afterward granted visitation rights, meaning the children would come one or two weekends a month or for dinner once during the week. This often left fathers and children feeling alienated from each other. More often these days, fathers want a more active role in their children's lives, and the courts are more flexible. Parenting time is more evenly divided.

As a result, child support may no longer be needed in some cases since child support formulas include the time spent with each parent. In addition to seeing fewer child support orders, lawyers may also be noticing fewer spouses paying alimony. Since men and women typically both have income or the ability to earn income, many courts do not award spousal support, or they award it on a short-term basis.

Because of the recent evolution of families and divorce, those in Pennsylvania who are contemplating ending their marriages may have many questions about child support, spousal support or other delicate issues. Speaking with a family law attorney is the best way to find reliable, compassionate answers. Whether one's breakup is confrontational or more amicable, having an attorney will ensure one's best interests are protected.

Source:, "The changing reality of divorce", Ken Garten, Dec. 24, 2016

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