According to statistics, between 40 and 50 percent of marriages in the USA end in divorce. While not all marriages result in children, there is no doubt that where couples do have children, divorce can have devastatingly negative mental, educational, social and even physical effects.
Once a marriage has irrevocably broken down, divorce is usually the best bet. But the challenge is which route to take, and if there are children involved, how to tackle issues of child custody and child support. If a couple ends up fighting over these issues in a court of law, there’s a good chance that it’s going to be the child or children who will suffer the most – maybe not financially, but certainly emotionally and psychologically.
If this is a dilemma you or a friend or family member is facing, an Alpharetta collaborative divorce attorney from Waggoner Hastings can help.
Issues That Affect Children in a Divorce
The two primary issues that affect children when their parents divorce are child custody and child support: where will the child live, who will take care of the child, and who will pay costs related to a child’s living and other costs.
If a divorcing couple cannot agree on custody, a court will have to make the decision based on evidence presented by attorneys. The same applies to child support.
But often the real damage to children starts when the couple fights about separation and its implications. Yet couples often underestimate the damage that the divorce process can do, and the negative effects it can have on children.
There are many paths a couple can follow when it comes to divorce, and if children are involved, it is usually best to aim for a non-adversarial collaborative divorce, rather than one that involves litigation and court battles.
How Collaborative Divorce Works
While traditional divorce cases can be very civilized, successful mediation is undoubtedly the best approach if children are involved. An Alpharetta collaborative divorce attorney (or an attorney from your part of Georgia or another part of the US) will help you and your spouse or partner resolve issues before the divorce is filed. The attorneys who will represent you and your partner will then help negotiate the divorce out of court before the case is filed. Because the process is constructive and respectful, all parties generally emerge healthier and as happy as possible after the divorce has been finalized.
Collaborative divorce is really the opposite of a traditional divorce that is typically hostile, with two parties fighting for what they believe is rightfully theirs – including the children. It’s a team approach that involves professionally trained people including divorce coaches, the two attorneys, a financial specialist, and most importantly when children are involved, a child specialist.
There is a specific process for collaborative divorce that needs to be followed – which your Alpharetta collaborative divorce attorney will explain. It involves meetings and discussions, and ends with a final agreement settlement that all parties are happy with, rather than a settlement decided on by a judge. Ultimately, collaborative divorce is the best chance for the children to emerge relatively unscathed by the divorce process.