Do Children Change the Divorce Process?

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Did you know that almost half, or 41%, of first marriages end in divorce, and failed marriages typically last eight years? Difficult tasks, such as dividing up assets, debts, and child custody, all rear their ugly heads before American couples can finalize divorce claims. How do uncontested divorces work, and when should you seek mediation for child custody?

What Is An Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce, also referred to as a no-fault divorce in certain states, entails two spouses who (often mutually) want to end their marriage. Both parties typically come to a mutual agreement about division of assets in an uncontested divorce. Whether contested or not, divorce involves four basic steps: filing, answering the complaint, coming to agreement, and finalizing the divorce. Divorce, including uncontested divorces, are often simpler, and more easily dissolved, with childless couples.

What About Children?

An uncontested divorce with children, however, is not uncommon. Even agreeable parties may struggle to understand and calculate state mandated child support, and that is becoming increasingly problematic. The reason? Today’s kids are actually pretty likely to live in divided homes. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of children living with married parents has decreased by at least 77% from 1980 to 2012.

Parents should consider custody arrangements very carefully. Joint custody can be the best option in low-conflict divorces. It can also, however, be the worst arrangement in cases of high-conflict divorce, according to Psychology Today. A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, moreover, suggest that being in the middle of high-conflict divorces can permanently damage infants and young children’s (up to age five) self-esteem and trust in parent-child relationships. Discuss options and reach a fitting, low-conflict agreement with the help of a child custody attorney.

What is an uncontested divorce? An uncontested divorce can work best for parties without children, but they can easily get messy once children are involved. Consider legal counsel and the best options for your kids when reaching a child custody agreement. Visit here for more.