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What Happens To The Children In A Divorce?

Our guess is that you are very concerned about how your divorce will affect your children, which is why you are reading this book, to figure out how to be part of an uncontested divorce. Perhaps all you need to know can be clarified with this story: I was a mediator in a case not long ago where the divorced parents were fighting over an issue that, along with many others, had been an ongoing battle for more than 10 years. I thought for days about how to settle this case, but I had no idea really how to help these parents. On the day of the mediation, as I drove to the office, two questions came to mind that I needed to ask these parents:

1. What is the worst thing that ever happened to your children?
2. What is the second-worst thing that ever happened to your children?

I spoke with the father in a separate conference room and I asked him these two questions. He replied: ?The worst thing that ever happened to our children is our divorce. The second-worst thing that ever happened is the constant conflict after the divorce.? Then he added: ?I have those two things reversed.?

When I spoke with the mother, she answered: ?The worst thing that ever happened to our children has been the conflict since the divorce. The second worst thing was the divorce.?

These two wise parents knew what they had been doing to their children for more than 10 years! But they could not stop. However, on this day, they did. Once they both recognized and admitted what they had been doing to their children, they settled their ongoing issue. They knew that nothing was more important than their children, but I fear that it was too late for their kids, the damage had been done. Children who grow up in constant conflict may turn to drugs, drop out of school, become abusers or victims of abuse. Their lives may be adversely affected forever; they have been robbed of their childhood. Maybe this story will help you and your children. For the sake of your children and their future happiness, please avoid the conflict. Your interests are not the most important issue in your divorce, your children?s interests are. It really is all about them.

What About Other Child Expenses That Are Not Included in the Child Support Worksheet?

One parent will be required to maintain health insurance for the children, and it there are any medical/dental/vision/orthodontia expenses not covered by insurance, the parties will often divide those expenses in proportion to their incomes.

Can My Spouse and I Agree on a Child Support Amount That is Different From the Statutory Calculation?

The Court can permit the parties to settle on an amount of child support that is different from the statutory calculation. In order to do so, however, both parties must sign a statement indicating that they are aware of what the child support would have been had they not entered into the agreement. You must attach a Child Support Worksheet to your decree.

Who Pays Child Support?

Using the factors of the parent’s monthly gross income, the amount of spousal maintenance paid or received, the amount of court-ordered child support paid by one parent for support of children not common to the other parent, the cost of one parent supporting children not common to the other parent, the amount of the medical insurance premium for the children, the child care expenses, the physical custody schedule, and the Child Support Worksheet, the court will be able to determine which parent should pay child support. The law provides that when the court grants a custody order, it also must decide what amount of child support should be paid by each parent under the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. Joint custody does not mean that either parent is no longer responsible to provide for the support of the child.

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