When a couple has decided to get divorced, where do they begin? In order to have things go smoothly and perhaps uncontested, every couple needs a game plan.
If there are children, you need to discuss what you want your parenting plan to look like. In other words how do Mom & Dad spend time with their children? Do you need a more structured schedule or is one with more flexibility better for the children. Under Utah law, the parties or the Judge should always do what is in the best interest of the children. That may or may not be what either of the parents may individually prefer.
So, if you have children you will need to talk about:
- Custodial arrangements (sole custody or joint custody, as to legal and physical) If you will have joint custody, a minimum of 111 overnights is required.
- How do we handle health insurance? Do we split the children’s portion or does one parent pay for the entire premium?
- What do we do about non-covered medical, dental, or vision expenses?
- What if our children are involved in extracurricular activities? Do we share the cost or have other arrangements.
- How do we handle claiming the children as income tax dependency exemptions?
- How much child support will each parent pay? The Utah State Child Support Calculator determines this.
- What about life insurance?
- Do the children have any separate accounts? How will they be maintained?
Additionally you will need to discuss the issues outlined in a previous post for divorcing couples without children.
With the help and guidance of a knowledgeable and skilled mediator, you will work through these issues and reach an agreement that sits well with both of the parties.