Oct 16

Low Cost Solutions for Custody Arrangements

Getting divorced and creating custody arrangements is often stressful and expensive. Court fees, lawyer fees, and the division of assets will all add up, leaving you feeling broken and broke.

If you are going through a divorce and you are trying to determine custody, you do have some options when it comes to lowering the cost of the process. Instead of sticking with an expensive divorce lawyer, check out some of these low-cost solutions for custody arrangements.

Create your own custody arrangement.

If you and your ex are still in good terms, the best solution for you both in order to save money on a custody arrangement is to create your own. Before you sit down with your ex and start writing out the details, it’s important to first educate yourself on the jurisdictions and laws within your state regarding child custody, and then take this into consideration before creating the final agreement. The clerk of court in your state or online legal services can help you find a sample custody agreement that you and your ex can use as reference while creating your own. Once you and your ex have created the agreement, you will both need to sign it and file it with the court. Once this is done, a judge will review your document and either issue a legal order reflecting your agreement or reject the agreement (or certain sections).

 Hire a Mediator

Another low-cost solution to custody arrangements is hiring a mediator. In fact, some states actually require that a couple go through mediation first before taking any custody arrangements to court. A mediator is a neutral third-party that is designated to help you and your spouse reach a custody agreement that satisfies you both. A mediator will cost less money than a divorce lawyer, and they can provide valuable, non-biased insight to help both you and your spouse come to a legal resolution.


Consider Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce will cost much less than actually going to court. With a collaborative divorce, you, your ex, and your respective lawyers or a family advocacy service get together to work out the agreement together. This is different than a typical divorce because it allows you and your spouse to work through everything together instead of giving the final say to the judge. Not only do you both get to speak your mind and work out the details that best work for you both, but you also eliminate a large number of court and legal fees. In fact, aside from filing fees, you’re typically only on the hook to pay for the fees charged by your lawyer, which can be a major savings during the divorce. And since most law firms will assign a paralegal or junior associate to work collaborative divorce cases, the lawyer fees are much less expensive.

Getting divorced and working through custody arrangements already adds stress to your life. Don’t feel the need to empty your bank account during the process as well.



Oct 16

Never Bad-Mouth Your Ex to Your Kids

There are many mistakes that parents make after a break up.  One of the biggest ones that is very common is talking bad about your ex to your kids.  Obviously, your ex would not be your ex if the two of you got along.  This does not mean that you should allow those feelings to show in front of your kids.  No matter what your ex is doing, there are things that you are going to have to remember not to do and talking about him/her is one of them. Bad mouthing your Ex during a divorce or a custody battle can cause great damage to your kids. Both parents should learn to be responsible enough to keep the children’s best interest at heart.


What You Say Will Have Lasting Effects

When a child hears something negative about one of their parents, they can personalize it and take it to a new level.  One of the things that can happen is that they could end up thinking that these negative things apply to themselves.  Children know that they are part of each of their parents.  When you call your ex a “loser” or something similar then your child could take that as you are calling them a loser too.


Pettiness Can Cost Your Quality Time with Your Kids

 Being petty is something that is going to cause lots of issues with your kids.  Consider what is more important.  If you are preventing your child from taking something to the other parent’s house, it is likely that you are only hurting your child.  In addition, if your child asks you to pay for something and you refuse because it is the other parent’s time, consider that your child might not be able to do the thing they wanted to.  While you might not feel that it is right to send things that never come home or to have to send money when your ex should be responsible, think about who is actually hurt in the long run.  It is not your ex that is going to suffer but your kids.


Don’t Let Bitterness Consume You

Sure your ex should be paying child support.  However, if they don’t do you think that it is good to talk about that to your kids.  Well, it is not.  Instead of focusing on what your ex hasn’t done for you, work hard to provide things for your kids on your own.  Doing this will keep you from struggling financially through things.  If you are allowing your anger and bitterness to take over, then you are going to miss out on wonderful memories that you could be making with your kids.


Never Bad-Mouth the Other Parent

 Finally, remember that the number one worst thing that you can do for your kids is to constantly bad-mouth the other parent.  Even if the other parent is always bad-mouthing you, learn to rise above the situation and avoid bad-mouthing them to your kids.  If you are bad-mouthing your ex, then you are going to find that your kids might end up wanting nothing to do with you.  Your kids are going to want to be with the parent that was better about cultivating a healthy relationship with the other parent.

Going through a divorce is tough.  One of the toughest things for you to do is to not talk bad about your ex to your children.  Remember that bad-mouthing them is not going to hurt them but instead is going to hurt your kids and the relationships that you have with them.