When couples have children, a divorce becomes much more complicated. Even if you and your spouse are committed to an amicable separation, you will need to think through your post-divorce future for the sake of your children.
Come Up with a Parenting Plan
Children need continuing contact with both parents, and a judge will want to see a detailed parenting plan. At the outset, you should realize that a 50/50 custody split might not be realistic since one or both of you might decide to move. However, you should work out who the children will live with during the school year and decide:
- When the non-custodial parent will have weekend visitation
- How the children will split their summer vacations
- Who the children will spend holidays and birthdays with
- How you will transport the children to and from visitation, as well as when they will be dropped off and picked up
The more detailed your parenting plan, the better. Deciding issues ahead of time can reduce conflict later on. If you need help coming up with a parenting plan, you can consult with a divorce attorney who can advise you.
Discuss Child Support
Every child has a right to enjoy the fruits of his or her parent’s income. For this reason, child support is a right. The state has a formula it uses to calculate child support. You can visit the Department of Human Services website.
Child support also includes things like health insurance, medical expenses, and child care. Depending on your situation, you might need to pay extra to cover these costs. Parents should look at the total cost of raising the children and identify how they will pay those costs.
Stay on Your Best Behavior
It is perfectly understandable to feel depressed, angry and frustrated during a divorce. After all, a relationship you thought would last for life is now crashing to the ground. Nevertheless, parents must remain amicable if they want their children to flourish. This means never bad-mouthing your spouse when the children are around or trying to turn your children against their mother or father. Furthermore, trying to alienate your children could be used against you when it comes to determining custody.
Calm Guidance You Can Trust
Divorce is an emotionally turbulent time. You need trusted, experienced divorce attorneys in your corner. At Divorce Matters, our Lakewood divorce lawyers will help guide you through the divorce process step by step. Please contact us today to schedule your comprehensive, initial consultation.