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When parents decide to divorce, the situation can be confusing and difficult for children. A divorce decree can mean much more than the dissolution of a marriage to those involved.
In many ways, marriage is a business contract. However, this changes when children are involved. While each parent will typically have legal representation, children rarely have the same advocate protecting their rights.
People often forget children also have legal rights — just like their parents. A component of those rights is a reasonable expectation of growing up in an environment that nurtures a healthy emotional development for them.
However, in many divorce situations, this is not always the case.
No one goes into a marriage planning for a divorce, but once divorce proceedings begin moving forward, a well-planned divorce with the right planning tools can be a great advantage.
Here are six tools that can benefit children of divorce:
1. Child Support
It takes money to live, and dependent children need financial support as well as emotional support from their parents. Regardless of child support assignments, financial assistance is always included in a divorce decree.
Child support often begins at the time of the legal separation. This defines what the financial responsibilities of each parent are.
Child support amounts can also be updated when the paying parent experiences an income change. Increases in parental income can mean more support for the dependent children.
2. Tax Dependency
The tax dependency part of the agreement benefits children of divorce with tax credits and refunds. This is a big deal considering it affects your earned income tax credit which is often a refund for parents.
It makes sure that children benefit more when income is higher, or there are several children involved.
It can be crucial in families when one parent is already remarried and has another completely separate family. Remember, only one parent can claim this credit.
3. Housing Arrangements
Sometimes housing is not included in a divorce decree, but if you are wealthy, that’s another story. Families with multiple homes have options that other families may not.
This tool in a divorce decree often states that the children should reside in their current family home. It helps maintain some family continuity after the divorce is complete.
4. Asset Assignment
Most families have a lot of assets to be distributed in a divorce. A practical and balanced divorce decree sets a definite assignment of assets as well as liabilities.
Debts are divided just like assets.
However, some assets like property can be a real advantage for children. Those who are legally entitled to property and resources can have those resources protected until they become of age.
An efficient divorce decree will include this tool. Especially, when the court decides to intercede as an advocate for a minor child entitled to significant financial gains.
5. The Parenting Plan
Gone are the days when mothers automatically get custody of the children in a divorce. The dynamic of the American family has changed drastically in the past twenty years. This has changed how marriages are dissolved that include minor children.
These days, the mother is the primary earner in a lot of families, and the father is the homemaker.
Besides, we live in a very mobile society, and divorced parents are often living far apart from each other. A good parenting plan will designate when the children are with each parent.
The best method of exercising an amicable separation is planning, especially concerning the parenting plan for the children. An experienced family lawyer can help you understand how this works and draw one up for you.
6. An Experienced Family Lawyer
A skilled attorney that specializes in family law is another tool that benefits families and children of divorce. The importance of a competent attorney during this time cannot be emphasized enough for the best emotional stability and legal outcome for the entire family.
Even when a divorcing couple agrees on almost everything, the process is still complicated, and expert legal guidance is needed.
It is crucial that every divorcing family maintain as much stability as possible. One way to do this is by contacting an experienced family lawyer who can assist in a comprehensive divorce decree. They will coordinate legal tools and the support necessary to improve the emotional health of the entire family.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.