In Pennsylvania, Family Law consists of matters related to Marriage, Adoption, Divorce, Custody, and Support.
If you contact an attorney, you may find that you need a minimum $5,000.00 as a retainer (as one very fine attorney I know requests). After that contact, or similar conversations, you may decide to file yourself. You download the paperwork on the Google machine and fill it out- it doesn't appear that hard. But there are timing issues and each county has a slightly different rule or procedure. Nothing is worse than hoping you are done with the divorce, only to have to tell your spouse that you messed-up and are still married.
The fact is, divorce is as expensive as you want to make it. Filing fees can vary depending upon where you file. The more polite and more communicative the parties and their attorneys are, the less expensive the divorce has to be. A willingness to be flexible can go a long way to keeping your divorce more affordable. So, you can hire a "pitbull" or you can hire well-heeled negotiator. Who would you rather deal with?
Custody is another area where emotions sometimes take charge. Parents often confuse their motives with the best interests of their children. Again, it is often best where the parties can be polite and communicative. Where that is impossible, specially trained conciliators assist in constructing a custody arrangement. There are fifteen factors that may be considered as well as the famous "any other relevant factor" in making a decision. Just remember, when you expose someone's warts, they are going to expose yours.
Sometimes, the best way to approach all of this is through Collaborative Law- a method of practicing law in which I am trained. Feel free to contact me and we'll set up an appointment to discuss your options.