Does the age of children in divorce affect the divorce itself?

When divorce is imminent many couples will start to consider the important decisions they will make in regards to their children.

The age of your children can have a large impact on those decisions.

This article will outline why the age of your children matters in divorce and how you can make the best decisions for them.

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    Does the divorce process change depending on the children’s age?

    The short answer is no, the age of your children does not affect the divorce process itself. The divorce process is the same for everyone regardless of their situation.

    There are 4 stages of the divorce process:

    1. File a divorce petition
    2. Acknowledgment of service
    3. Decree nisi
    4. Decree absolute

    However, the age of your children will matter when it comes to your financial settlement and child care arrangements.

      How does the divorce process differ between dependent and non-dependent children?

      The divorce process can differ if you have dependent or non-dependant children. If children are older and non-dependent the divorce process is much easier, although, the emotional aspect for them is often just as difficult.

      Having dependent children whilst going through a divorce can be more difficult due to you both having to come to an agreement on how you are going to look after them going forward including:

      • Living arrangements
      • Child maintenance

      How the courts deal with financial settlement in regards to the age of children

      The age of your children will also affect the division of assets. If there are dependent children under the age of 18, the courts will always prioritise the needs of the children.

      This includes ensuring they have a roof over their head (often the marital home) and ensuring the main parent receives enough monthly income to support their children’s lives.

      The Divorce Process for children

      Unfortunately, the reality of many Divorces is that children also can find the process difficult and hard to understand. This can be a very emotional and difficult time for parents to deal with and help the children through it.

      Children under the age of 2 are unlikely to have any impact from the divorce process although, they may find it difficult to adjust to not seeing both parents every day.

      Teenagers often have a better understanding of the reasons for divorce which can often help them process the divorce better than children of a younger age.

      No matter the age, children will always find it difficult but there are many ways you can help them through it, keeping contact with both parents, not involving them in any conflict, & keeping a consistent routine is key.

      Child Maintenance in regards to the age of children

      When children are involved with a divorce or separation often, they will stay with one parent more than the other.

      The other parent will then have to pay a set amount of child maintenance to the other this patent is often referred to as the ‘paying parent’.

      There are several factors that are taken into consideration when working out how much child maintenance needs to be paid,  including the paying parent’s income, other children the paying parent is currently paying child maintenance for and the paying parent’s expendable income.

      The age of the child isn’t taken into account with regards to the amount of child maintenance however, it does stop at a certain age.

      You’re normally expected to pay child maintenance until your child is 16, or until they’re 20 if they’re in school or college full time doing:

      • A-levels,
      • Highers or
      • Equivalent.

      If you will be relying on maintenance payments, did you know that there is insurance available which will protect this vital income from the death or critical illness of the payee?

      Protecting Maintenance Payments

      If you will be relying on maintenance payments, did you know that there is insurance available which will protect this vital income from the death or critical illness of the payee?

      We can introduce you to Future Proof Insurance, an award-winning (winner of the Cover excellence award for Best customer service) firm providing high-quality expert protection advice including ‘life of another’ policies that cover the person who pays the maintenance. If they should die, the amount of maintenance will continue to be paid monthly.

      Your families’ lifestyle/ financial security will remain unaffected. The length of the policy can be set up until the date that the maintenance agreement ends and can be cancelled without penalty if the circumstances legally change. For example, the receiver was to remarry.

      The person who pays the maintenance must give their permission and the premiums would be paid by the person who receives the maintenance.

      This policy also works on the behalf of the person paying the maintenance. They can set up a life of another insurance policy with the ex-partners permission which could help to pay for a nanny /cleaner/ carer / or taxi service to take the children to school in the event of their early death.

      These options may be vital allowing the main income earner to carry on working to bring in an income even in a reduced hours capacity. Or, to give some breathing space so that the children can be taken care of. They may be grieving and need the parent to be there full time whilst the remaining parent takes a sabbatical.

      Divorce Online are introducers to Future Proof Ltd an appointed representative of St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

      Call us today for more information

      Living arrangements depending on the age of children

      The age of your children is a factor when deciding where & who your children will live.

      • Babies and younger children will have different needs to older children
      • You should always take your child’s wishes and feelings into consideration, taking into account their age and understanding
      • The likely effect on your child of any changes in their circumstances
      • Where your children’s friends and other relatives live, and how your child will have contact with them.
      • Where your child goes to school, and whether they have any special classes or out-of-school activities.

      There are no rules in regards to where and who your children should live with, it’s always best on what’s best for the children.

      Most parents are able to come to an agreement as to who their children will live with and when and how the other parent will get to see them.

      If you are able to come to an amicable agreement its best to write it into a shared parenting agreement. This means that both parents have to adhere to what’s written within the agreement otherwise legal action can be taken.

      Have your entire divorce handled for you by divorce experts whilst being kept up-to-date on your case throughout. This service will give you peace of mind at a difficult time and help save you over £750 on the cost of your divorce

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