Divorce and Children

Divorce and Children

Many life changes create great stress–the birth of a baby, adoption, career change, buying a house, relocation, retirement, bankruptcy, illness, financial windfall, last child leaving home. Some are positive and welcomed; some we all prefer to avoid.

But of all the changes that can come in our lives, only the death of a spouse or a child is considered more stressful than divorce.

To put it plainly, the effects of divorce are enormous and permanent.

In our series of articles on divorce we cover various aspects of divorce. In this blog entry, however, I’d like to focus on some legal and financial issues regarding children, if the couple has had them. Unhappily, it’s an issue we’ve developed some expertise with over the years.

Unfortunately, legally and financially divorce is often an adversarial event, with both partners working in their own best interests. Each party must find his/her own advocates and professional support.

In a divorce with children involved, a couple has a lifetime relationship as parents whether they want it or not. During the time the children are minors, the couple must come to mutual decisions on factors affecting the children, some legal and some financial.

This frequently leads to additional trips to court or mediation if the couple cannot reach agreement on their own on custody, visitation and financial support. Even after the children are old enough to make their own decisions, there will be times when the couple is forced to make adjustments to financial arrangements.

Financially, divorce and care for the children involve so many aspects: cash flow, investment assets, education costs, medical insurance, life insurance, trusts and wills. . .the list goes on. All of these issues have to be dealt with under some of the most emotionally stressful conditions people will ever encounter.

It is very important that you work with professionals during your divorce to make sure that the right decisions are made since these decisions will affect the rest of your life.

While every divorce process is stressful, being properly prepared, having a team of strong advisors and building an effective support system will enable you to get through it with the least disruption possible.

This is important not only for you, but for the children.

John Christianson
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