Five Things You Should Know About Divorcing With Kids

By David Hammond

Some parents stay together even after their marital relationship has ended because they believe that it is best for the children. However, being in an unhappy relationship can make home a tense, miserable place for everyone to live. If you are contemplating divorcing with kids, a New York divorce lawyer can help you ensure your children’s best interests are protected during the divorce proceeding. Below are five things that might help you as you take steps to end your marriage while continuing to raise happy, well-adjusted children.

1.     You can end your relationship with your spouse while you continue to co-parent.

Children typically benefit when parents work together to co-parent. It allows the parents to develop a time-sharing schedule that is tailored to the needs of the children. Co-parenting also helps maintain a close relationship between the children and both parents. While it may be challenging, especially if you and your ex-spouse do not get along well, you can succeed in co-parenting with patience and dedication.

2.     Child support is based on guidelines.

Both parents are expected to support their children financially even though the marriage has ended. New York has Child Support Guidelines that the court uses to determine each parent’s financial obligation to their children. However, a judge may deviate from the Child Support Guidelines for a variety of reasons. Typically, the parent in whose home the child resides for the majority of nights receives the support payments.

3.     Be careful when discussing issues related to divorce and finances.

Children may typically ignore a parent’s conversations with other individuals. However, when parents separate, children may begin to pay more attention to conversations their parents have with other individuals because the children are curious, frightened, or worried. Refrain from discussing the divorce and financial matters when your children are home unless you are absolutely sure your children are not somewhere in the home where they can overhear your conversation.

4.     You may need to split holidays and other special occasions.

If parents cannot get along well enough to share holidays and special occasions, a time-sharing schedule will alternate these days each year. In some cases, parents may need to split a day so that each parent has access to the child, such as on the child’s birthday. It is best for the child when parents can work together to avoid disputes related to holidays and unnecessary shuffling around between homes.

5.     Your children may need professional counseling.

Even when parents are on good terms with each other and a divorce proceeding is amicable, children may experience a variety of emotions they are unable to process. In some cases, children need professional counseling to work through their feelings about the divorce. Children benefit when parents are supportive of counseling and encourage children to be honest about their emotional needs during a divorce proceeding.

Call a New York Divorce Attorney for Assistance

Divorce can be very disruptive for a child. However, parents who are patient and communicate with their children can help them transition from a two-parent home to a separate home. If you have questions about custody, contact one of our New York divorce attorneys today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.