Divorce produces dramatic changes in your life. These changes may include a change in your residence, a change in who resides with you, a change in your city or state, a change in your employment and perhaps even a lifestyle change. As you face these changes, you and Ms. Baker need to prioritize your concerns and goals.
If your family does not include minor children, your divorce shall be focused on financial issues. You and Ms. Baker will work together to protect your financial future. You and Ms. Baker will review all of the marital assets and debts and determine how best to maintain your financial interests and meet your financial needs. In all likelihood you will not be able to modify or change the terms after your divorce. You will need to be thorough.
If your family does include minor children, their well-being, their needs and their care are the most important aspects of your divorce. Each parent must be focused on how to best assist their children with the transition to two separate households.
You and your spouse must develop a Parenting Plan. Before you draft your Parenting Plan, you must first honestly evaluate:
- Each parent’s abilities; and
- Each child’s needs.
After assessing your family in terms of the needs of your children, you and your spouse should actively participate in the design of your Parenting Plan. The Plan should be comprehensive, identifying: children’s individual or special needs, educational placement and decision making, time sharing, holiday contact, transportation issues, extracurricular activities and decisions, conflict resolution and medical decision making.
The Parenting Plan shall be unique and tailored specifically to your family. If you and your spouse are not able to jointly establish a Parenting Plan, Ms. Baker will assist you with the establishment of your family’s Parenting Plan with the use of custody evaluators, parenting coordinators or mediators. Ultimately, the court must be presented with a Parenting Plan jointly agreed upon by both parents. If the parents cannot jointly agree, the court shall evaluate the children’s best interests to establish a Parenting Plan.