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Property division and child custody issues may be intertwined

Issues in a divorce can be highly interdependent. For example, a couple may have disagreements about property division matters until they consider the potential impact on children. Similarly, parents may disagree about legal and physical custody arrangements until they factor in which spouse wants to remain in the family home, and/or whether one parent has plans to relocate. 

Parents in a contentious divorce may need to step back and consider whether it may be in a child’s best interest to remain in the family home or in the same geographic area. Other property division matters may also depend upon child custody decisions, such as assigning the family car to the parent with primary physical custody.

Parents may be tempted to take a formulistic approach to visitation arrangements, such as assigning certain holidays to one parent. Yet an attorney that has handled child custody matters for divorcing parents may caution against that approach. To the extent that parents are able to exchange short and civil communications after a divorce, a more flexible visitation arrangement -- one that allows parents to accommodate unanticipated schedule changes -- may prove to be a better fit.

A more communicative approach to visitation agreements may also enable parents to provide more consistent discipline to their children. With supervision time potentially reduced in half, parents may find it more difficult to stop their kids from misbehaving. Parents that continue talking to each other about their kids' developmental issues, even after a divorce, may ultimately be serving their children’s best interests. An attorney that focuses on divorce and child custody issues may have experience in crafting such flexible custody and visitation arrangements. 

Source: Huffington Post, “12 Things Kids Think About Divorce But Are Too Afraid To Say,” Tara Kennedy-Kline, April 20, 2014

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