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Divorce and Kids: Basics You Need to Know

Aug 23, 2007
Confusion often abounds when mixing divorce and kids. If you plan on having a divorce and kids are involved, there are many things to consider like child support, custody and visitation rights. The responsibilities that come with divorce and kids are apparent in both parents.

The two main concerns when it comes to divorce and kids are child custody and/or guardianship and child support.

Child custody:

Having custody over a child means that the custodial parent has the right to care and make decisions for the child. When a situation involving both divorce and kids exist, an agreement between two parents is possible, for example: schedules are made when either parent can see or visit the child. At other times the judge makes a legal decision when parents are unable to make an agreement together. Here are factors as to how divorce can lead to court in regards to the child's best interest:

- Safety and development of the child.
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
- Health hazards

Schedules are now being developed by the court and are usually associated with visitation and how much time a child spends with each parent.

Child support:

Child support is the responsibility of each parent over the child's development during or after a divorce. This involves providing finances for the child's interests such as basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter), education and medical supply. The court analyzes the performance of the non-custodial parent and determines if he or she is compliant, non-compliant or criminally non-compliant. How this is determined involves many factors:

- Child's age.
- Domestic environment.
- Sexual, physical and physical abuse / domestic abuse.
- Parental addiction problems (gambling, drugs, alcohol abuse).
- Parental ability or capacity to support ( i.e.: financial; mental stability) and spend time with the child.
- Time allowed by the parent to have the child spend with the other parent.
- Moving to a different location with child.
- Kidnapping of own child.
- Parent's other sexual partners or relationships.
- Religion or faith.
- Child's preference.

The court may provide visitation rights to the non-custodial parent, depending on the factors listed above. Here are some considerations taken when visitation rights are awarded:

- Time spent by the non-custodial parent with child.
- Alternate weekends for child to spend with either parent.
- Time spend with child during holidays or birthdays.

Here are other important points you need to consider:

- An ex-spouse cannot be denied visitation rights (that have been awarded legally) even if he or she hasn't paid for child support.
- Dating could affect your child custody case.
- The bias that mothers should naturally be the custodial parent of the child has been eliminated. Fathers can use the best interests of the child standard without the court incurring prejudice in any decision made.
- Your child is allowed to speak in court but is not a requirement.
If you are unsure of the factors mentioned, it is best to contact and speak with your attorney or legal professional.
About the Author
Are you planning on getting a divorce but keeping your kids? Ivanovich C. endorses Isha R. Find out what you need to know at Isha Rowd's website on divorce and kids. Visit us at http://www.how-to-get-a-divorce.info
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