Radnor Township Divorce and Child Custody Attorney
It’s cheaper to marry than divorce.
When you’ve been a resident of Radnor Township for six months or so, you can grab a legal officiant and head down to the Delaware County Courthouse in Media and pay $60 for the license. Legally, that’s all it takes to bind yourself to a partner for life.
If only it were that simple to make a marriage work. Many pairings don’t end up "happily ever after," even if you did get married at The Willows Mansion.
Divorce in Radnor: the Statistics
Around 31,500 people live in Radnor Township. With a median age ranging from 27 to 31, it’s safe to say the presence of higher education like Villanova University accounts for a decent amount of them. And of those people, an estimated 39% are married, 5.1% are divorced, and 1.3% are separated from their spouses. This percentage does not account for previous marriages that ended in divorce or annulment.
Pennsylvania reported 827 divorces or annulments in Delaware County in 2015, about 32% of the 2,519 marriages for the same year. It appears that Radnor Township is holding steady in its divorce rate.
A nationwide study found that 70% of divorces are initiated by women, only 30% by men. We can only assume whether or not this holds true for Radnor. But divorce isn’t about "everybody’s doing it"; not at all. Each relationship is an organism all its own, and personal choice - stressing the best outcome for both the couple and their children - should be what decides whether or not to end a marriage.
Prepare for Divorce
If divorce is what you need, then preparing will lessen your stress and help you handle the emotional weight. You need to think about your rights, your children’s rights, and your ultimate future. You can get through divorce, and be better for it.
Here are considerations to protect your assets and your children, to minimize the pain and confusion of a divorce.
- Decide. If this is what’s best for you and your children, then put it down on paper. Don’t neglect the details in writing out a plan.
- Pull out all your financial documents. Tax returns, deeds to property, vehicle titles and insurance, all credit cards, any other assets…all of these have to be disclosed so that a fair divorce settlement can be drawn up. Don’t forget about retirement accounts, health insurance, or life insurance. Even if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re entitled to marital property.
- Get your own lawyer. In an ideal world, you and your spouse can agree on every little detail and present your agreement to the court. In reality, compromises must be made, and you need an advocate for you. A lawyer will guide you, know all the right forms to fill out, and keep an eye out for any hidden assets or legal trickery.
- Try mediation. If your split is amicable, try mediation to work through a post-nuptial agreement or settlement, making sure to discuss child custody and spousal support. If your split is contentious, the Pennsylvania courts require you and your spouse to attend mandatory mediation sessions before appearing in the courtroom. You and your spouse must each have a separate lawyer.
- Agree at all costs - if possible. If you and your spouse can’t work out an arrangement you can both live with, the courts will do it for you. That means a stranger will decide what’s best for your kids. Litigation is the last resort, but if you need to litigate, have an experienced Delaware County divorce attorney.
Protect Your Children During DivorceLife after divorce will ultimately be better for you. But children - who assume their home will always be there, who have the most to gain and lose - are usually in a state of shock. Abide by these common-sense rules to make things easier for them.
- Reassure them of your love for them. Just because you’re no longer with their mother or father has nothing to do with them. Tell them it’s not their fault, and that you both love them. Smother them with attention.
- DON’T overindulge them. Maintain routine, be consistent and reliable, and don’t let feelings of guilt change the way you parent.
- Talk to them. Explain the situation fully. Give children as much age-appropriate information as possible so they can digest it and prepare for the future in their own way.
- DON’T use your child as emotional support. Don’t unburden your soul to your child. That’s a heavy burden, and he or she is already dealing with major change. Be the parent. Go to a therapist to deal with your out-of-control feelings.
- Listen to them. Ask for your children’s opinions, and accept them. Don’t be defensive and make your child feel guilty for expressing honest emotions that may be hard for you to handle. Arrange for them to see a therapist if necessary.
- DON’T try to get your child to spy on your ex. Even if you’re dying of curiosity or feel you “need to know” how your ex is parenting, don’t push it. Parenting styles will be different, and you should allow your child to open up to you naturally.
- Share time with your ex. Give your children access to their mother or father. Don’t give your children false hope, but do bite your tongue and get along with your ex.
- DON’T talk badly about your ex. That’s her father or his mother. Don’t disrespect your ex, because your child is 50% of that person and deserves a loving relationship with both parents.
Children should have as much information as possible about where they’ll be living and with which parent, and if they’ll remain in the same school. When registering kids for Radnor School, the registration asks if you are divorced or separated, and the custody agreement has to be presented to the school district so they can comply. Radnor Unified School District seeks to be fair unless there is an order of protection or the like. Both parents’ contact information must be given, and both will be notified when proper.
Divorce Resources for Radnor
Delaware County’s Court of Common Pleas
Office of Judicial Support, Room 126
201 West Front St.
Media, PA 19063
Support Groups and Divorce Resources
School and Child Care
Speak to Radnor Divorce Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz
Radnor Township’s ideal location, along the Main Line, doesn’t protect its homes from breaking up. Though Helen Hope Montgomery Scott and her husband never had to divide Ardrossan, not every modern family is as fortunate.
You can come out of divorce better than you started, but it will take time and commitment. You’ll need support, compassion, and an advocate to guide you. The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., deal with a variety of domestic issues, including alimony, annulment, bankruptcy, child custody and support, mediation, asset division, and more. If you have any questions, call toll-free (866) 290-9292 for a free consultation with a Delaware County family law attorney.