As recently as 10 years ago, if you were a grandparent in Pennsylvania and wanted to gain custody of your grandchildren for their own good, it was much simpler to do so. Family bloodlines and the existing family relationship were usually enough to allow grandparents to take custody of grandchildren if it was clear that their current parental situation was harmful.
State law guarantees that anyone that has been abused, especially a spouse and/or children can get legal protection from the person that was responsible. This is known as protection from abuse, and while getting hurt by someone within a household-such as your own partner-is upsetting and traumatizing, there are legal enforcements present to put a stop to it.
In the event of a divorce that involves children in an existing family, the ideal situation is an amicable one. In this case, both parents have agreed to a divorce on rational, even friendly terms, and the best interests of the children are taken into account, with both parents discussing new residential and care arrangements for the children. Unfortunately this doesn't always happen in a divorce. Sometimes both parents will want to retain the right to raise the children and neither side is willing to budge.
Paternity cases have, in the past, traditionally been taken to court because a mother wanted legal proof that one particular man was the biological father of her child, and thus responsible for some of the child rearing duties, usually financial. Times have changed, and while a woman seeking paternal responsibility from a man is still one reason for such cases, there are other reasons as well. In some cases, a father may want to be a part of a child's life but need a paternity case to be resolved in order to force an unwilling mother to allow parent/child interactions between the two.
If you decide to divorce from your spouse, one of the things you will need to contend with if there is any disagreement about division of assets is the legal notion of "equitable distribution." This does not mean that everything in marriage is divided up by an even 50/50, but instead looks at what is fair for one or the other spouse to keep, especially if one spouse has much greater financial worth than the other.
Pennsylvania families often face challenging times throughout their lives, and one of the most challenging is certainly when a divorce has occurred and custody issues have arisen. Parents often let their emotions get the better of them in these situations and instead of trying to keep the best interests of children in mind, arguments can easily ensue.