Going through a divorce when you have children is exceptionally difficult, and heartbreaking. Not only is it hard on you and your spouse, but oftentimes children are the ones who suffer the most during a divorce. They might feel insecure, angry and worried.
If you are wondering how divorce will be with children involved, then look no further. This article will address different types of custody, and how it will be with regard to your kids. We will also look at the costs involved and some other insightful tips that can help you during the divorce process when it comes to your children.
1. 4 different types of custody during a divorce
When it comes to getting a divorce, you and your spouse will need to decide on custody when it comes to your children. Custody refers to minor children under the age of 18. It is always important to know that the courts are concerned about the well being of the children and what is best for them. There are 4 basic types of custody.:
- Sole physical custody:
This means that the children will stay with one parent and be under their parent’s supervision. The court will have to approve the parent’s plan for the other parent’s visitation rights.
- Joint physical custody:
This refers to custody where both parents will have quite a bit of contact with their children continually. Therefore both parents will have physical joint custody over their children.
- Sole legal custody:
This means that only one parent will have the right to make decisions and take responsibility for the health, education, welfare, etc on behalf of their child. The other parent will continue with visitation rights. This is the most common form of child custody in America. Courts prefer joint legal custody though.
- Joint legal custody:
When it comes to joint legal custody, most courts prefer this option, but this is usually not the case when it comes to divorcing parents. Joint legal custody means that both parents have a right to make decisions regarding their child’s health, welfare, and education. Both parents have a responsibility towards their children. This is usually what’s best for the children if the parents can work together to raise their children. The courts will look at a joint parenting plan that the parents submit to the courts. Joint legal custody is not always easy though, as this means that both parents need to be able to work together and set aside their differences, in order to make life easier for their children.
When it comes to choosing who gets custody, the courts will decide what is in the best interest of the children. They will assess the child’s relationship with his parents and if any abuse is involved. Often times courts prefer joint legal custody but can grant sole legal custody, if one parent is abusive. Courts also grant custody to the parent who can meet the child’s needs best. Courts will consider things like: Will the child have a safe place to live, will the child be well fed and clothed, does the parent abuse drugs or alcohol, which parent has been taking care of the child, will the child have enough supervision and emotional support? The courts will consider each of these questions and decide what will be best for the child.
2. What is the cost of divorce with children?
Getting a divorce with children is extremely expensive. A recent survey was done in America and the average cost that couples spent during a divorce with minors were $19,200, during custody battles and support issues. On top of that parents spent an extra $16,200 on attorney fees. If the only issues involved are custody and child support, your fees might be a bit cheaper, but there might be other issues involved such as alimony and how to divide property and assets. This will also push up the cost of your divorce. If you can agree on custody battles outside of court, you can be sure that your overall costs will be lower. Going to trial is incredibly costly. Couples who go to trial spend $22,000 on average with an extra $19,200 on attorney fees. Luckily though most couples come to an agreement outside of court when it comes to child custody.
If you and your spouse are really on good terms, you might even be able to get an online divorce which can cost you next to nothing. You can see if you qualify for an online divorce, even if you have minor children and you and your spouse agree to everything. An online divorce could cost anything between $300 and $500.
3. How long does a divorce take when children are involved?
If you have children, the average length of divorce proceedings can take up to 11 months on average. If you as a couple, can come to an agreement, then your case could take 9 months at most. Whereas if there are various issues that you and your spouse can’t agree on, then your divorce could even take 17 months at most. If you can resolve your issues quickly then your divorce proceedings will commence at a faster rate.
4. Some helpful tips
When it comes to filing for a divorce with kids, try your best to come to an agreement with your spouse as soon as possible if you want to save money. If you and your spouse can end your marriage on amicable terms, then things will also be easier on your kids. Don’t try to use your children as leverage, or as payback against your spouse. This will just lead to more hurt on everyone’s part. It is also possible to have an uncontested divorce when children are involved. You and your spouse will just need to come to an agreement when it comes to custody, visitation and so on. If you can successfully co-parent together, then an uncontested divorce is possible, which will lead to a cheaper annulment. You might even be able to qualify for an online divorce if you and your spouse can agree on all the terms and conditions of your divorce. If this is the case, then things will be much easier for everyone involved.
There is nothing worse than seeing your children suffer during a divorce. If you can remember that one good thing that came out of your marriage is your children. If you and your spouse can choose what is best for your kids, then this will make the entire process easier. A split is already emotionally draining. You don’t have to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Try to find a middle ground and remember that once your divorce has been finalized, you can move on and live the life that you and your children deserve.