Divorce and Dissolution With Children
Divorce - Minor Children or Minor and Adult Children
Divorce - Adult Children - No Minor Children
Simplifying Divorce With Children
Divorce with children doesn't need to be emotionally damaging to a child. Divorce is a difficult process, especially when minor children or dependents are involved. If the parents are able to agree on the basic terms like child custody and child support, the dissolution of the marriage can be conducted with minimal stress and difficulty.
US Legal Forms offers a state-specific uncontested divorce package which contains all the information and forms you need, along with easy to follow step-by-step instructions, for filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with minor children or dependents. A parenting plan should be prepared, regardless of whether on is required by state law, in order to avoid future disputes and litigation. By outlining the terms of a shared parenting plan, all the parties, including the child, know what to expect. US Legal Forms offer top quality forms that are professionally drafted according to the laws of your state. Unlike many generic online forms, we offer state-specific divorce form packages that follow the requirements of divorce law in your state, as each state's requirements in the area of family law vary.
By filing an uncontested divorce petition, you can jointly petition the court to issue a final divorce decree that includes the agreed upon terms. As long as the divorce court finds the agreements reasonable and in the best interests of the child, the court will typically adopt the agreements made into the final divorce decree. If you were legally separated prior to divorce, the court will often incorporate the separation agreement into the divorce orders. The issues that need to be decided upon by the couple in a no fault divorce with minor children include the following:
- Child support - Whether or not child support will be owed needs to be determined. Many states have child support guidelines that may be used for reference. The amount, duration, time, and manner of payments, and which spouse will receive support (usually the parent with primary custody) need to be specified. Other financial issues, such as health insurance premiums and extraordinary expenses should be covered. Extraordinary expenses include items like medical and dental charges not covered by insurance, extracurricular activities, child care expenses due to illness, changes in job duties, etc., vacations and travel, and secondary education.
- Child custody - Parents can agree to have sole custody with one parent or joint custody. A parenting plan should be written up, and is required in some states. Parenting plans outline the details for visitation, holidays, vacations, transportation, relocation, and major decision-making on issues like education and religion. Some parenting plans also include details of child support payments. The parenting plan may be shared with day care providers and school authorities so that others are aware of parental rights and access to the child.
- Property division - Financial statements may be required by state divorce law to be filed along with a petition for dissolution. In some states, the couple may agree to waive the requirement of filing financial statements, and include this waiver in the divorce petition. Assets should be listed and described as either joint property or non-marital, separate property. Non-marital assets are generally those acquired before marriage or by gift or inheritance. The couple may also agree to make certain assets separate property. Joint assets will need to either be assigned to one party or divided. Often, joint property will be sold so that the proceeds can be divided, or one spouse may buy out the other's interest in the property. Often, a parent with primary custody of children will be awarded possession of the marital residence to avoid disrupting the children's' lives, such as requiring them to attend a new school. In addition to dividing assets, the debts of the couple also need to be divided, such as mortgage payments and credit card debt. Debts will tend to be assigned according not only to which spouse contracted the debt, but whether one or both spouses benefited from the debt.
- Spousal support or alimony - Spousal support, also called spousal maintenance or alimony, can be agreed upon. Terms for spousal support should detail the amount, manner and time of payment, and duration. Typically, the longer the marriage and older the couple are, the greater the spousal support amount will be. A permanent alimony award is typically granted in marriages lasting ten years or more. The relative finances and assets of the couple are taken into consideration, as well as the job history and educational background that contribute to the earning capability of the individuals.
It benefits everyone involved, emotionally and financially, to be able to put aside any hostilities and form an agreement on these basic issues. By filing an uncontested divorce petition, the dissolution of marriage process can be accomplished in a much speedier and inexpensive manner, as well as taking less of on emotional toll on everyone involved.