Our children are the most important things in our world, they are our highest achievements and they represent our future. Protecting your children comes as second nature, you want them to be healthy, happy, get a good education and have a promising future. But when it comes to divorce the decisions you are forced to make aren’t always easy ones. Protecting your children when it comes to custody is difficult but here are some tips that can help.
Listen to What Your Children Have to Say
Any mental health professional will tell you that children need to feel that they are being heard and it is your job to listen to what they have to say. You need to talk to your children about what is going on and listen for what they need. Even younger kids are capable of expressing their desires or insecurities. Older kids in some state are allowed input as to where they want to live and their feelings on custody or visitation.
You and your spouse may not be married anymore but you will always be the parents of these children and will need to work together to make decisions. You should have a parenting plan that will include things like custody, both legal and physical along with visitation. If you can’t come to an agreement then before you seek legal action you can work with a mediator to help you come to an agreement in a way that is supportive rather than hostile.
Paying Child Support
Child support is the law and if you can’t come to an agreement then the court will do it for you. Most states have a guideline based on income that they follow and should you fail to pay child support you can face legal action. Failure to pay child support can result in the suspension of your passport or driver’s license along with jail time if you fall too far in arrears.
Also bear in mind that for the parent receiving the child support that the money is not federally taxed as income. If you are the parent in receipt of the child support payments you need to make sure that the payments are designated as child support and not alimony. Your attorney should make that clear in your divorce agreement.
Getting a divorce is an emotional time, but it is also the time where you need to set aside your differences and work towards the best interests of your children. They are your most important priority.