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What happens when you divorce with children?

Any time two people divorce but have children, the children have to come first. In a divorce, nothing is as important as determining child custody. It's necessary to decide where the child or children will live, who will take care of the child and when and how to support the child in those circumstances.

In many cases, the parents are able to work out custody arrangements on their own. If that's the case for you, you can have your attorney draw up an agreement that can be submitted to the court for approval.

In the case that you and your spouse cannot agree on custody rights, you should consider alternative dispute resolution or allowing the court to decide on custody. With alternative dispute resolution, you may go through mediation or arbitration to make your case and come up with a plan that works for the parents involved.

The primary concern of the court is that your child has the care that he or she needs in a supportive home environment. It is usually assumed that both parents will have some form of custody through a joint-custody arrangement unless there is a reason that a joint-custody arrangement will not work for this situation. For instance, if there is a history of abuse, then joint custody may not be the right solution for a family.

Your attorney will talk to you specifically about your child custody case and what to expect. With the right knowledge, you can seek a custody plan that is fair and that works for you and your spouse's schedules.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Basics," accessed June 15, 2018

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