How do you know that your custody agreement will make things easier for you and your estranged spouse once the divorce is complete? Will your support agreement ensure that your children will be financially supported? There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to your children. For example, once divorced, how much child support will you need? Or what if you and your former spouse disagree about holiday plans?
It is easy to assume that your experience will mirror your friends’ or coworkers’ experiences when it comes to divorce. Your friend may say, "We don't have a custody agreement - we get along just fine." The truth is, the divorce and post-divorce process is often different for everyone and even a seemingly civil divorce can lead to contentious disputes in the future.
Consider the issue of child support. You and your former spouse may agree that whoever has primary custody of the child should receive a certain amount from the other spouse to help with living expenses and other necessities. But what happens if one parent's life changes drastically? If his or her financial situation changes, is there any way to enforce a support agreement that was never documented on paper?
What if you and your former spouse disagree about a custody arrangement? Your neighbor down the street may have told you that she refused to give in to her ex-husband and ended up winning the custody battle. However that may not be the case if you try that same tactic.
Knowing what you want in a divorce is a good thing. Making sure that an agreement between you and your soon-to-be-former spouse is documented can help protect your rights post-divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, “Five Custody Myths Separating Parents Need to Know,” Carla Schiff Donnelly, June 5, 2014.