Is There a Good Time to Get a Divorce with Young Children?
You’ve probably heard that 50% of all marriages end in divorce, but did you know that 66% of all divorced couples in America are childless?
Does that mean that couples with children work harder to keep their family together?
Maybe, but 40% of such couples still end up divorcing.
Besides the financial considerations and legal issues, divorce is complicated, especially when kids are involved.
If you find yourself in a failing marriage and are ready to file for divorce, timing can be everything.
Is there a right time to get a divorce? We’ll explore that question in this guide to getting a divorce with young children.
Divorce with Young Children
Clients often ask if there is a right time to divorce with young kids. While it would be ideal if there were a magical age where kids are less affected by a divorce, there are many factors that surround the decision to file or wait to divorce.
Worst Age for Divorce for Children
Because young, preschool-age children depend on their parents for so much of their care during this time, the effects of divorce on this age group can be long-lasting.
Not having another adult in the home means all of the responsibilities fall on the newly single parent. A young child will realize that you no longer have the same amount of time or energy for the usual routine.
If you are not in a violent or high conflict marriage, it may be best to wait until your youngest child is in school before divorcing.
Once your child has friends and is gaining some independence, the disruption of divorce will not be as difficult to handle.
As if early adolescence is not a tough enough time in a kid’s life, adding a parents’ divorce into the mix can throw them into a tailspin.
If your preteen or young teenager is going through some developmental issues or failing in school or falling in with the wrong crowd, it could be in your best interest to hold off on filing for divorce if at all possible
*Note: Each situation (young kids to teenagers) warrants its own examination, however. Again, there is no magic 8-ball to say this age is any worse than another.
Custody in a Divorce with Young Children
A divorce with young children also has a custody component. Each state has different laws regarding custody of minor children.
In South Carolina, for example, there is no automatic legal right to custody for either parent. The judge will order a custody arrangement that has the best interests of the child in mind.
There are financial obligations coupled with custody agreements. A parent may be ordered to pay child support for many years depending on the type of custody arrangement.
Is There a Best Way to Get a Divorce?
There is no easy answer here. If your marriage is difficult on everyone, it is probably best to end it as soon as possible.
If your children are at vulnerable ages and you and your spouse can keep it together to protect them, that may be the better choice in the long run.
We help with divorces with young children and provide support for many other aspects of family law. Contact us with your questions.