Divorce in itself is trying enough. If children are involved it becomes even more trying and extremely emotional. Parents often lose sight of what is in the best interest of their children when they are fighting over other things, especially financial issues. Where do the children fit into this whole new existence that is being created? Unfortunately children often become financial pawns in a divorce when child custody issues are being decided.
Before the divorce is finalized a temporary custody arrangement is put into place. This can usually be done without the courts intervention if both parties can reach an agreement. The temporary custody arrangements are not necessarily what the final custody arrangement will be. The agreement should be well thought out and comprehensive. It is best to put it on the court record to make it binding.
There are 2 basic issues in regards to custody:
The purpose of the custody agreement is to reach an understanding on how to raise and care for the child with both parents sharing in the responsibilities and maintaining involvement in the day to day life of the child. For the custody agreement to work it is essential that you be flexible. Make every attempt to encourage and respect the relationship of your child and the other parent. Don’t assume anything and keep an open mind. Easier said than done when in the midst of the turmoil that naturally goes with a divorce. Keep in mind you and your spouse are getting the divorce or are deciding to no longer be together, you are not “divorcing” or “separating” from your children. What if you can’t come to an agreement on custody? Then be prepared for a custody battle.
Unfortunately, a battle is exactly what it may turn into if you and your ex cannot work together and co-parent. Before you reach the point of court intervention to decide custody, think long and hard. A custody battle thrusts the child into the middle of your controversy. Why are you fighting for custody? Are you fighting FOR custody or fighting so that your ex-spouse DOESN’T HAVE custody? Is it in the best interest of the child for you to take the course of action? Are you thinking of what is best for you, or for your child? If you’ve determined that it’s the right thing to do -for the children- to go forward, what can you expect when the court intervenes?
Click Here to read about Custody Battles
This is the children’s time to spend with you. Get to really know them. It is a special time that should not be taken for granted. They are young only once. They get to grow up only once. Be there with them. Share this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Try to stay away from schedules that are confusing or where the children are bouncing back and forth between two homes. When developing a visitation plan keep in mind several factors:
By definition, Child Support is a financial contribution paid by the non custodial parent to the custodial parent towards the expenses of raising his or her children. That seems pretty cut and dry. However, child support can turn into a major issue as divorces are often wrought with emotions. This is also true in paternity matters.
Click Here to read about Child Support Issues