Around half of all marriages in the United States fail, and those who were married in the past are more likely to go through a divorce again. Whether this is your first or second divorce, the proceedings become more complicated when there are children involved. A law firm like Tully Rinckey PLLC can assist you with filing the paperwork and working out an agreement with your spouse as well as with meetings between your spouse and his or her attorneys. Before you head to the courtroom though, you may want to look at some of the issues relating to your children.
Child custody actually refers to two different issues. The first is physical custody, which refers to the parent who has primary custody of the child and the parent who lives with the child most of the time. Even if you both agree to share custody, the child will generally spend more time living with one parent over the other. The court will also ask about legal custody, which refers to the parent who has the legal authority to make major decisions regarding any minor children who are under the age of 18.
Visitation rights give one parent the legal right to spend time with those children. Unless one parent has a history of violence or abuse, the court will typically request some type of visitation. The judge may determine that one parent can only see the child with supervision from the other parent, a family member or a representative of the court. The custodial parent is the parent the child lives with, but the non-custodial parent will have the right to see the child. You and your partner must work out a visitation schedule that shows when the child will see each parent.
The custodial parent may receive some type of child support from the non-custodial parent. Courts typically base the amount supplied on the adjusted gross income of that parent. New York law forbids judges from issuing support orders that cost the non-custodial parent more than 17% of his or her income for a single child or more than 25% for two children. The money that the non-custodial parent pays goes towards the support of the children, including clothing, food and school supplies. The judge may also determine that the non-custodial parent is responsible for keeping the children on his or her health insurance or for the medical bills of the child.
Spousal support is a separate support order that goes directly to one spouse. If you spent years as a stay at home parent while your spouse worked, the judge may decide that your former spouse should pay you an amount that will keep you in the lifestyle you shared while married. This order may last for a set period of time such as five years, which gives you time to go back to school or find a job to support yourself, but the judge may agree that the order should remain in place until you remarry.
As upset as you are about your divorce, your children may feel exactly the same way. You need to look at all the factors involving your children before filing your paperwork. Click here to learn more about child custody and other divorce information you need to know.