Filing and going through the process of divorce is a difficult task. Not only is it emotionally taxing on both sides, but it also places immense mental and physical stress. And on top of that, the papers are troublesome to accommodate, and keeping a calm and collected train of thought is almost impossible if there are things left unsaid.
We understand how difficult it must be for you right now, so to help you wrap your head around the situation, it’s best we first address the elephant in the room – your children. Who, at their young age, have yet to understand the problems surrounding their family life.
Always Consider Your Children First
Your kids don’t know any better, and when having to face the facts of separation, it can often be very hard on them and leave an emotional scar. So when going through with your divorce, responsible parents should always consider their children first. While coming to an agreement and defining your terms between each other is crucial, these aspects should bear in mind your children’s well-being. Which now brings us to child custody.
Types of Child Custody
Most drama films leave the impression that parents fight intensely for child custody, and while this does happen in extreme cases, these agreements can and should be done civilly. And to help you understand, let us first define the different types of child custody:
Physical Custody. As the name suggests, physical custody refers to the parent’s right to have the child live with them. This type of custody usually addresses where the child lives on a day-to-day basis.
Legal Custody. This type of custody refers to the parent’s right over the child’s upbringing. Having legal custody means the parent can make long-term decisions like where they go to school and any form of general welfare for the child.
Sole Custody. In cases where there is one abusive parent or unfit to raise a child, sole custody is often rewarded. This means only one parent has full custody of their child.
Joint Custody. In contrast to sole custody, this agreement gives both parents custody over their child. Both get to share decision-making responsibilities and receive an equal chance to spend time with their children.
Now that you understand the different types of child custody and know the options you can discuss with, next is visitation rights, which is especially crucial for sole custody cases.
Addressing Visitation Rights
In sole custody arrangements, visitation rights are another aspect of child custody that needs to be addressed as the non-custodial parents also reserve the right to meet their child following an arranged visitation schedule. Inextreme cases, though, the custodial parent also has the right to refuse visitation rights if the non-custodial parent poses any harm to the child and is deemed unfit.
Deciding in the courtroom. Sole custody is also agreed in court to find out which parent can provide for the child and can offer the best circumstances. Among the factors that affect this decision include:
- Living Situation
- Ability to Provide
- Child’s Preference
Determine Child Support
Lastly, caring for a child and meeting their needs requires financial assistance from both parties, so it is vital to determine the child support to be provided by both sides. This can vary depending on the parents’ living situation in question, but in most cases, the following factors help determine how much a parent must provide for their child.
Living Expenses. Children’s daily needs come at a cost and can be very burdensome for one parent alone to shoulder. Both sides must split the cost of their child’s living expenses or come to an agreement that equally divides the responsibility.
Financial Support for Education. Studies and schooling can get pretty expensive, and it is the responsibility of both parties to provide for the child’s education.
Parents’ Income. While child support must follow strict guidelines according to state, this can vary depending on the parent’s income. And when a parent doesn’t earn much, a judge can make exceptions and adjustments to their child support responsibility.
The Verdict: Trust Expert Advice
In conclusion, divorce and child custody is no easy matter that can be quickly resolved over a single meeting. We strongly suggest that you seek out expert advice and enlist the help of a divorce attorney to make the entire process much easier and prevent you from missing something crucial.
And while it can take multiple appointments, and be a rigorous process, what matters most is that the child’s well-being is assured in your divorce.