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If you are divorcing and minor children are in the picture, it is critical to be prepared for all the legal decisions you will soon need to make concerning them. Divorce is not generally straightforward when minor children are involved, simply because a multitude of considerations must be contemplated.

First, there is the issue of child custody. If both parents are going to remain in the child’s life, you may opt for joint physical and legal custody. However, there may be compelling reasons to seek primary or sole custody in either of these categories. In addition, if both parents will be active in the child’s life, you will likely be required to draft a parenting plan and determine what visitation or parenting time arrangements work best for you and your newly reorganized family.

Second, there is the issue of child support. Generally child support formulas are fairly straightforward. But if your child has special needs, will soon be attending college or has a medical condition, the challenges you will face in drafting a child support agreement may be more intricate than usual.

Third, there is the potential issue of relocation to another state or country. If you or your child’s other parent plans to move, there are specific laws and considerations you will need to entertain in order to make sure that the move is legal and that your child remains safe.

Divorcing with minor children in the picture is rarely ever a straightforward process. However, if you retain experienced legal counsel who respects you and your relationship with your child, you will be better equipped to handle the process one piece of the puzzle at a time.

Source: Findlaw Law and Daily Life, “Top 10 Legal Issues for Single Moms,” Aditi Mukherji, May 6, 2013

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