"Child support is not the be-all, end-all in a divorce. Additional things to consider include medical care and childcare expenses."
After careful examination of data from Atlanta Divorce Lawyers, Kitchens New Cleghorn LLC - It was clear that a correlation between the month of January and a staggering rise in divorce filings was right on the money.
An infographic on the most deadly month for divorce also showed that more people filed for divorce in 2010 and 2011 than in any of the other years between 2009 and 2014. Statistics also showed that couples with children tend to prioritize custody and support issues at the same rate. Even when the husband files - and men tend to file at a rate of 2:1 over women - custody and support issues are prioritized.
However, divorce means having to deal with several issues, not just child custody and support issues. Division of assets and liabilities, medical care for minor children, religious decisions, insurance issues and spousal support must be considered. All of these issues will affect both spouses for most, if not all, of their lives.
Division of Assets and Liabilities:
This includes all marital and non-marital property and could affect issues such as child support and spousal support. It could also come with tax ramifications. If one spouse gets the marital home, that spouse is responsible for taxes, insurance and the mortgage payment. The receiving spouse is also responsible for maintenance and upkeep. If the receiving spouse decides to sell the marital home after the divorce, he or she will have to deal with any tax ramifications on his or her own.
Depending on the circumstances (and state), an inheritance may be considered non-marital property. This could affect the amount of spousal support paid in a divorce case. It also affects the bottom line on the heir's income tax, and that is a number that will not be shared by the ex-spouse.
Issues Related to Minor Children:
Child support is not the be-all, end-all in a divorce. Additional things to consider include medical care and childcare expenses. Not all medical care is covered by insurance. The divorcing couple needs to come to an agreement for payment of uncovered services. More importantly, should there be an emergency; the couple needs a plan to notify the other non-custodial parent of what happened and where the child is. It is easy to forget your ex-spouse in the heat of an emergency, but that is one of the extra duties of the custodial parent.
Additional issues include childcare, whether it is after school care or a babysitter if the parent wants to go out with friends or on a date. This seems like a "no brainer" for those who get along during and after the divorce – simply call the ex-spouse and ask him or her to babysit. However, it is not so easy if the spouses do not get along.
In the best interests of the minor children, the parents need to put their differences aside. Even after the divorce, if the parents continue to fight, especially in the presence of the children, the children's lives could be adversely affected.
Additional considerations in co-parenting decision making include choice of religion, choice of schooling and choice of medical procedures. A parent may have to decide whether to have a certain medical procedure completed; and this is a decision that both parents should make, especially if it could adversely affect the quality of living of the child whether for better or for worse.
Often the court orders the parent paying child support to procure a life insurance policy to cover child support payments should something happen to that spouse. The court may also require one of the parents to provide health insurance through work. If a spouse doesn't have life insurance already, this is an additional expense that could be significant. Health insurance costs medical costs are skyrocketing and could take a nice chunk out of both parties' pockets.
Many states allow spousal support only in long-term marriages or if a spouse has never worked. When considering spousal support, the parties must consider the length of time, the amount, the ability of each spouse to earn, child custody and child support. Other considerations include which spouse was awarded the marital home and whether a spouse has an inheritance that is deemed non-marital.
Though all of these items seem small in the realm of things, each one of them will affect the parties for years and could affect them for the rest of their lives. The spouse that doesn't have primary custody has to make sure his or her schedule fits the visitation schedule. The spouse that didn't get the marital home must now find a new home or a rental. Even a rental has financial ramifications in that the person moving must pay a sometimes-significant lump sum to the landlord to move in.
Available money decreases for both spouses - child support payments, spousal support payments, separate utility bills and other bills - are all being paid out of one paycheck instead of two paychecks.
While getting out of a stagnant marriage or an abusive marriage is a great fresh start for all involved, it is also a fresh start that should be planned for due to the cost of going through the divorce and the cost of maintaining two separate homes. While the cost of maintaining two separate homes is not unbearable if the parties did not have children; that cost increases significantly with children. Both parties must maintain a big enough home to accommodate the children.
Before you file for divorce, consider the ramifications. You can minimize some of the costs by waiting until January for a divorce. If you are still married on December 31 of the prior year, you can still file jointly for the next year. This could save you a significant amount that first year.
Planning ahead and timing the divorce properly can save you, your spouse and your children a ton of emotional and financial headaches.
The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.