4 Things to Consider When it Comes to Kids and Divorce

The idea of “keeping it together for the kids” is a flimsy one. Sometimes things just fall apart — from the lesser wooden-block castles you build with your kids to the extreme case of your troubled marriage, fragile things will break. It’s how you approach the emotional wreckage that matters most to children.

Think about it: Would you fight over construction strategies while your child cries over the ruins of his or her crumbled castle? Then why would you drag him or her through the rubble of your marriage?

With kids in mind, here are four things to consider when it comes to divorce.

Kids and Divorce: What to Consider

    1. The Best Interest of Your Child

This one is at the top of the list for good reason. Sooner or later in the process of your divorce, your child will become part of the settlement. This doesn’t mean that he or she is a pawn or bargaining chip to play against your ex. From the very first conversations with your child about the divorce till the paperwork is finalized, consider your child’s needs.

Emotional manipulation is common among angry divorcees. Never subject your kids to it. These behaviors may include, but are not limited to, hindering your child’s communication with his or her other parent, compelling him or her to pass messages to your ex, or denying your child’s emotions as they relate to the divorce.

    1. A Parenting Plan

Whether you plan to play out your divorce in court or opt for collaborative divorce, consider what you’ll want from a parenting plan.

Parenting plans often cover everything from custody arrangements to education standards, religion, and more. Know that if you choose divorce by litigation, you may have less flexibility in deciding the terms of the contract since the judge makes the final ruling.

    1. Child Support

Understand your options — or lack of — when it comes to child support. Based on Florida law, both parents are required to provide some form of support. That means, if a settlement is taken to trial, parents will have to battle over who provides primary care and who provides supplemental financial backing. In situations where 50/50 or co-parenting is mandated, there may be no official child support payments.

However, if you are economically unable to provide for your child, an attorney can help you fight for additional support despite any custody arrangements.

    1. The 2008 Parenting Bill

Want to have your kids full-time, but you’re worried about the outcome of child custody and support in your divorce? You’re not alone. The 2008 Parenting Bill emphasizes co-parenting making it difficult for mothers or fathers to receive 100 percent custody.

In the divorce process, some couples fight just to fight. Hurt feelings can increase both tension and entitlement, which could lead one parent to fight for more childcare than he or she may be able to provide.

Through collaborative divorce, couples can work through the roadblocks that prevent reasonable future plans. It’s an option that also allows divorcees more freedom to decide on proper child support and custody arrangements without the impositions of the 2008 Parenting Bill.

Are you ready to settle your divorce amicably, in the best interest of your child? Contact Dean G. Tsourakis today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced collaborative divorce attorney.