Unfortunately, divorce proceedings do not only affect soon-to-be-ex spouses. Children are, perhaps, the biggest victims when it comes to divorce. If you are considering divorce and child custody is an issue, you must address the needs of your children throughout the process. Consider the following:
You must do what is necessary to protect your child. If your spouse has done anything to harm your child physically or emotionally, or you suspect he or she is capable of doing so, be sure you share this information with your lawyer. Action can be taken to protect your child during the proceedings and in the final divorce settlement. Even if it means embarrassing your spouse or publicly sharing information you would rather keep private, you must do whatever necessary to ensure your child is safe.
Child Custody Issues
In many divorce cases, a child’s physical safety is not at risk, but the welfare of the child is still a concern. It is possible for two people to end a marriage, but continue to be active parents. This is why most divorce proceedings include parenting time arrangements. Parents might be awarded joint custody, in which each is equally responsible for the children and decisions are made with both parent’s input, or one or the other spouse might receive sole custody. In the latter case, the non-custodial parent will have parenting time rights and a schedule will be organized that allows children to spend time with the non-custodial parent. Courts determine custody issues based on the requests of the divorcing parties, as well as the needs, requests and best interests of the children.
Special Needs Children
There are instances in which children have special needs and traditional custody arrangements are impossible. For instance, if a child is medically incapable of traveling even short distances or a non-custodial parent’s home is not equipped for dealing with the physical needs of a child, special arrangements might be necessary. Courts will take the health and specific needs of each child into account when making decisions about child custody.
There are instances in which children are assigned guardians during divorce proceedings. This person is charged with protecting the child’s welfare. Hopefully, both parents involved in divorce proceedings will put their children’s needs first, but this is not always the case.
Children might also be asked their opinions during divorce proceedings. Courts often take the requests of older children regarding custody and other issues into consideration when determining the final settlement in a divorce case.
Every child is different and as your divorce proceedings move closer to a resolution, you must take your child’s needs into account. Do your best to protect your child and if possible, allow your child to have both parents in his or her life.
If you have decided to move forward with divorce or you have questions about child support, contact the Law Office of Anthony J. LoPresti at 516 739-2020 for more information.