Just like you never start a business with the intentions of it failing, you never enter the bonds of matrimony with the intentions of divorce. Unfortuatnely, as soon as you and your spouse say “I do”, there is a 50% chance in the future you will be saying “I don’t.” As soon as you and your spouse are married, you begin making decisions that will have consequences affecting the outcome of your divorce. One of the biggest decisions, of course, being parenthood. This decision plays a part in your joint financial decisions that have to be considered when contemplating a divorce action that will result in a split of those finances. Divorcing couples, therefore, must find a way to turn a shared life into separate lives. In doing so, every divorcing couple needs to answer two important questions:
- What will your family look like after divorce?
Certainly, this question pertains more to couples with children, but not exclusively. If you live under the same roof as someone else for any period of time, you each take on certain responsibilities – whether this is organic or by delegation. The splitting of responsibilities and household duties does not make for an easy split at a later point in time when you have come to rely on each other for completion of those tasks. The multitasking option is no longer available to single parents. Further, you no longer have the time to discuss your children’s health, welfare, or education.
During the divorce, couples with children need to be cognizant as to how they will allocate parental responsibility for decision-making (physical custody) and how they will structure a parenting schedule (physical custody). Clearly, some people are seeking a divorce because there has been a breakdown in the couples’ ability to communicate or effectively co-parent. The two types of custody usually cut to the real reason one or both parties are seeking a divorce, and they are two issues that cannot be avoided. If the issues cannot be resolved mutually through a settlement or mediation, the judge is left to decide what type of legal and physical custody the parents will have moving forward. It is best to address these issues head on and take an active role in determining who is best suited to have legal and physical custody of the children. While court intervention is sometimes necessary for parties that cannot simply come to any agreement, we generally like the parties to strive to reach a mutual agreement so as to prevent future conflict or further resentment.
Whether or not a divorcing couple has children, other ‘family’ members can be affected. There might be pets involved or decisions about how you will handle mutual friends. Particularly in longer-term marriages, it is nearly impossible to turn your joint lives into two separate lives without addressing the concerns that fall into the ‘family’ category.
At Husker Law, we help guide our clients to whatever custody arrangement is best for their unique circumstances. We fight for our client’s wishes while advising them as to the precedent that may be established by the law.