Going through a divorce is an emotional process that comes with a variety of legal and financial concerns. The challenges associated with a divorce are amplified if you and your spouse have children. When dissolving a marriage, it is critical that you protect your children’s interests as you go through the process.
At The Aberdeen Law Firm, we have a long history of helping our clients navigate the divorce process and ensure the best interest of their children in the process. Contact us today to learn more about how an experienced divorce attorney can help you secure a favorable outcome for divorce through a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Additional Things to Consider When Getting a Divorce With Children
When going through a divorce with a partner with whom you share children, things are much more complicated than in a divorce where kids aren’t involved. In addition to the things that must be considered in a standard divorce, like the division of marital property, you must also navigate issues such as child custody and support.
Child custody is the most important thing that must be decided during a divorce. The welfare of your children is likely going to be the most important consideration for you, your spouse, and the court. Unfortunately, opinions regarding what is in the best interest of your children often vary significantly depending on who you ask.
Even a fairly amicable divorce can get contentious when it comes to child custody. In most cases, both parties will want to be as involved as possible in the welfare of their children. While this desire comes from a good place, it can lead to a drawn-out legal battle that puts your children in the middle and causes them extreme emotional distress.
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Protecting Your Children Using Mediation
One of the best ways to protect your children during a divorce is to resolve things through mediation rather than going to court. Mediation offers an alternative form of dispute resolution that is less contentious and doesn’t result in your children getting caught in the middle.
In this process, an independent third-party mediator will attempt to help you and your partner come to terms on a divorce agreement. When negotiating over the point of custody, your children will not be forced to choose between you and your spouse. In mediation, you and your ex can decide on a customized custody arrangement that works best for your family.
Divorces resolved through mediation tend to leave parents in a better position to co-parent their children after the divorce. Things can get nasty if divorce proceedings advance to court, making it far more difficult to work with your ex in the future. An experienced divorce mediation lawyer can help protect your rights and interests during the divorce process.
Other Means of Protecting Your Children During a Divorce
In addition to using alternative dispute resolution to help protect your children from divorce proceedings, there are other steps you can take to ensure the well-being of your children both in the short term and long term.
No matter how bad the problems are between you and your ex, minimizing your children’s exposure to the problems is essential. This is especially important with smaller children. Avoiding fighting in front of your children or badmouthing their other parent in front of them are ways to help ensure your child maintains a healthy relationship with both you and your ex.
You should also be considering the future when working towards a divorce settlement. You should make arrangements for how costs, such as college tuition, will be split between you and your spouse, even if your children are still quite small.
Factors the Court Will Consider When Determining Custody After a Divorce
If you and your spouse are unable to come to terms on the issue of custody, the court will decide the fate of your children based on several factors, with the intention of ensuring that the best interests of your children are served.
The main factors considered by the court when determining custody include who has been the child’s primary caregiver up to that point, the stability of the home each parent can provide, and the needs of the child.
There are two forms of custody that need to be determined.
Physical custody refers to the physical location of your children. In most cases, one parent is granted primary physical custody, while the other parent is granted partial custody.
Legal custody refers to which parent makes the larger decisions about their child’s life, including decisions regarding schooling and medical care.
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Determining Child Support in a Divorce Agreement
Child support is determined based on the incomes of both parents and the custody arrangement. In most states, there are guidelines used for determining child support. If you and your spouse agree on a child support arrangement that falls outside these guidelines, you must provide justification for this alternative.
Emergency Orders and Temporary Hearings
The divorce process can be long and drawn out. Because of this, temporary hearings and emergency orders can be critical when the welfare of your children is concerned. Requesting a temporary hearing to get an emergency order may be necessary when:
- Your partner has been abusive to you or your children
- Dealing with a dispute over access to children
- Dealing with a dispute over financial support for your children
- Dealing with a dispute over access to the family home
Get Help from an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today
When going through a divorce, it is essential that you retain the services of an experienced divorce lawyer. Your attorney can help assess the challenges your family faces and work to protect both you and your children throughout the divorce process. Divorces involving children are complex and require additional paperwork.
While coming to terms on an uncontested divorce agreement is the best-case scenario for you and your children, it isn’t always possible. Your child custody lawyer can help you through the process of alternative dispute resolution and represent you in court if necessary. At The Aberdeen Law Firm, we have a long history of helping our clients through this troubling time.
Contact us today by phone, through our online contact form, or by using our chat tool to schedule your free consultation.