Philadelpians are having trouble divorcing their spouses.
They are the most popular divorce lawyers in the country.
In the first quarter of this year, a total of 2,845 couples filed for divorce in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania State Bar Association.
The median divorce filing fee was $1.4 million.
Some attorneys say the legal costs associated with divorce are more than a thousand dollars.
They also say that many divorcing couples are seeking relief from a perceived lack of control over their lives and children.
Philadelphis attorney Mark A. DeAngelis is a leading divorce lawyer in the state.
He has represented a number of people with custody disputes.
His practice focuses on custody issues and issues related to children.
“You have a lot of custody disputes in our society that you have to work through, you have a big emotional burden to overcome,” he said.
Deangelis said he sees divorce as an issue that can be handled by any attorney.
“It’s not a complicated matter,” he explained.
“We’re all lawyers, we’re all in this together.”
Deangelises advice can be a little different than other divorce lawyers’ advice.
“My advice is if you’re looking to resolve a custody dispute and you’ve got a very long list of kids, the last thing you want is to be the first person to get involved,” he added.
Deangelois said there are several things to consider when dealing with custody.
First and foremost is the best interests of the children.
He said if there’s an ongoing dispute over custody of the kids, it’s better to try to resolve it on your own.
“There are times where the children are involved and it’s the best for the kids to settle things themselves,” he noted.
“If the children have been taken care of, they can take care of themselves.
That’s not the case with custody issues.”
DeAngelises advice for couples is simple.
“I want you to be very open to talking about what’s going on,” he advised.
“And I want you and the kids involved to be able to come together as a team.”
De Angelis said it can be challenging to divorce someone you’ve been in love with for 20 years.
“But it’s really hard when you’re not sure what the future holds,” he observed.
He stressed the importance of working through any custody issues together.
“One of the biggest challenges for a lot people in this area is that the issue of custody is very personal,” he stated.
“What the kids want, what the parents want, is something that can’t be resolved.”
Deangeloises advice to couples is to keep calm and be open to discussion.
“Just talk to them.
Talk to them about what you think is best for them and for you and your kids,” he emphasized.
De Angelises advice is not just for people who are in their 50s and 60s, but for people with young children.
Some divorce attorneys say they see divorcing parents as emotionally vulnerable.
They say it can take years to reconcile their past.
“A lot of these divorcing mothers are the mothers who lost their children and now are in the process of trying to get back into a relationship,” Deangelides said.
“The children are the ones who are going through the same trauma.”
A divorce attorney is not a divorce judge.
He or she can’t give you the final word.
However, Deangelys advice is based on his experience.
“They’ve been through the divorce process and they know what’s best for their children, their kids’ future, and they are the best possible decision-makers,” he shared.
“This is not an easy situation, but it’s one that most people should be willing to deal with.”