So, you have decided to divorce your spouse. Does this mean you have to divorce your in-laws, your mutual friends and people that you have known together as well?

As with the majority of things in the legal realm, the answer is, “It depends.” It mostly depends on the parties involved and their capability to get past the “battleground” of divorce. The divorce process often makes enemies of ones who were once the closest allies.

But, if you have children together, you will need to learn to amicably co-parent together. This means working to be on the same page when it comes to the best interests of your children. For example, when it comes to custody involved in divorce situations, the legal system (if involved) will default to what is best for the child, not the parents.

If you have a positive relationship with your in-laws, that too can continue post-divorce. This would especially be helpful if there are children involved. It allows for families to participate in life events (graduation, births, deaths, marriages, etc.) by having a peaceful environment around the event instead of focusing on the dynamic of past hurts.

What about the new significant other/spouse? If you have children together and this person plans to be a part of the long-term picture, it is in everyone’s best interest for all of the adults to be polite and respectful to each other. It will assuredly be an adjustment for everybody involved. But if everyone strives to take the positive route, rather than the negative, it can actually be beneficial to the children to have more people in their lives who care about them.

With mutual friends or colleagues who you and your ex-spouse share, the situation will vary depending on the individual. There likely will be some hurt feelings, half-truths said and some pain throughout the loss of those who shared your lives. But if someone wants to continue to be a part of your life, then they will do so.

If you live or work in the central Pennsylvania area, including Carlisle, Harrisburg, Hershey and surrounding communities and would like to discuss divorce or any other family law or estate planning or administration issue, please contact me.