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What to ask for in a divorce settlement agreement in 2024

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The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

Divorce and custody negotiations are stressful: deciding how to afford two homes, share parenting time, and protect the kids from the conflict. You are likely thinking about your house, a new job and definitely a new budget. 

Angry couple negotiating a divorce settlement.

It's easy to want to plow through negotiations as quickly as possible.

Slow your roll. Think about the things you really want in your divorce settlement, and where you can afford to be flexible. Understand if you qualify to DIY your divorce, or seek mediation for a low-conflict resolution.

  1. Your house
  2. Financial information
  3. Co-parenting and parenting time
  4. Guidelines for relationships
  5. Therapy for children
  6. Ongoing mediation with ex
  7. Documentation

House or the proceeds of a sale

Molly Rosenblum, owner and founding attorney of the Rosenblum Allen Law Firm in Las Vegas, Nev., says it’s important to be mindful of the tax implications of selling a home as part of a divorce settlement.

She recommends consulting with a tax professional to get a firm understanding about how selling or dividing the home as an asset will impact you as an individual.

Any real estate that was bought by you and your spouse is typically considered marital property and the assets of which are typically split 50-50 when you divorce. There are many ways that the assets in the home can be transferred or divided, and each can affect tax liability.

You might consider keeping the house, if you can afford it. More on this below.

What happens when you divorce and you own a home together?

Before any equity in the home is divided, first you must understand the value of the home. You and your spouse can agree to a price that you can estimate the home would sell for today, based on recent home sales of properties in your area. If you cannot come to that agreement, then couples typically hire an appraiser to set a fair-market value for your home.

From there, you can use that number to negotiate other parts of your financial settlement.

When you are negotiating and determining the best path between a sale or a buyout, you need to think about realtor fees, transfer taxes, and home equity, advises Rosenblum who points out that in Nevada (and other states), houses are losing equity FAST.

“If you are upside down in your home, a walk away might make more sense,” says Rosenblum. “Trading equity in the house (if it's small) for money elsewhere might also make sense especially if a sale is going to cost you another 3-6% in realtor fees.” 

Who has to leave the house in a divorce and who gets to stay?

In some states and extreme, high-conflict situations, if one spouse leaves the marital home for any reason — including being arrested for a false domestic violence report — he or she loses all rights to the marital home. In most divorce cases that are at all amicable, these common scenarios will typically apply to the house after divorce. 

  • One spouse buys out the other’s share of the home’s equity like through a cash-out refi
  • If the house is underwater—in which the mortgage is larger than the value of the home—then the house may be sold, and the remaining debt split between the spouses
  • If they can afford it, the couple may choose for one parent to stay in the home to maintain a routine and school district for any children they have together
  • Continue to co-own the home. You can then rent out the property and share any profits, use it as an Airbnb or other short-term rental, ride out an economic downturn to hope to recoup any losses or increase profits in a future sale, or one of the spouses can continue to live in the home, with an agreement about how any sale proceeds would be divided in the future.

Who is entitled to the house in a divorce?

If the house is owned by both the wife and husband, and it was purchased during the marriage, typically both spouses are entitled to equal shares of the equity. There are pros and cons to keeping a house in a divorce — and it may not be financially possible for you. 

Educate yourself about housing if you have a low income, as well as grants for first-time home buyers.

How is a house split in a divorce?

There are several ways to distribute this income:

  • One spouse keeps the house, and buys the other out via cash-out refinance.
  • Sell the house and split the proceeds.
  • One spouse keeps the house, and takes less of a retirement distribution or other marital asset in return.

If you choose to refinance the home in order to buy out your ex:

Can a house sale be forced in divorce?

Sometimes, a divorce decree states that the house must be sold in order to divide the equity in the home, to satisfy debt carried by one or both spouses, or for other financial obligations — in which case this must be adhered to.

If one spouse wants to keep the marital home but cannot come up with the required funds to pay the other spouse the portion agreed upon — or ordered by a judge — then a court could force the sale of the house in order to comply with terms of the divorce.

Financial information

Assets and debts are equally divided in divorce typically. You also must consider ongoing expenses for the kids and other key financial information. What you need to know:

Credit card, tax and personal loan debt

Like it or not, legally, you are likely on the hook for any debt accrued during the marriage.

Dig up documentation of all statements, including interest rates and due dates. If you are ready to start tackling debt, start here:

How single moms can pay off debt (even on a low income)

Tax relief programs

Learn about the Top 10 tax debt relief companies >>

Separation of credit and bank accounts

Divorce and breakups are some of the most common times when credit fraud can occur.

Fighting exes can steal your personal information to take on loans or open credit cards in your name, fail to pay debts they agreed to, and, sadly, it is common to steal children's identities, too.

The three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, all provide credit scores and reports, but in slightly different ways. You can get your free FICO credit score and report from Experian now to see where you stand.

Then, make sure to remove your name from any accounts attached to your ex's. Open bank and credit card accounts in your own name, and make sure that you are not on the hook to make car, student loan or mortgage payments that are not yours.

Student loans

Student debt taken on before you married is likely going to stay with the person who signed the loan.

However, if the debt was assumed during the marriage, it is likely the responsibility of both parties, at least to some degree, and can get messy.

Life insurance policies in divorce settlement

Every mom should consider a life insurance policy, even moms with no income of their own.

Your kids should be named as beneficiaries.

Learn more about affordable, no-medical-exam life insurance for single moms.

Long-term care insurance in divorce settlement

Especially for women aged 50 and older, you need a plan to pay for long-term care insurance. Rosenblum suggests getting quotes not just for long-term care but all kinds of insurance to find out what those premiums will cost (health insurance, car insurance, home insurance, etc.). That way, you can plan for alimony payments and/or employment, child support and other financial matters.

“Most insurance companies will negotiate rates if they know the client is going through a divorce,” Rosenblum says. “In discussing these matters with your insurance agent, you should ask about the possibility of increasing rates so there are no surprises.” 

About 70% of people in the U.S. will require some kind of long-term care in their lives, and 18% of women will require it for five or more years.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that it costs on average $92,376 per year for long-term care in a nursing home.

Wedding jewelry

Typically, anything that was given as a gift is considered the property of the gift recipient. This includes an engagement ring or other bridal jewelry, as well as any rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches or earrings that you received as a gift throughout the relationship. You can keep these, or sell your jewelry for cash — up to you.

College tuition for the kids

Some states like Illinois require that divorced parents pay a share of college costs.

Establish how much each parent must contribute to a college investment fund, or pay at the time of enrollment.

One tactic that works for many families: Once kids age out of child care, reallocate those funds to a 529 college investment account.

Who claims children on taxes?

Many families either take turns claiming the kids or otherwise equally split the deductions in an equitable way, for example, divvying up health insurance, child care or other kid-related deductions.

If your ex has a history of not paying his share, make sure you take the deductions.

Read more: What single moms and dads need to know about taxes, as well as

Health insurance after divorce

Decide what makes sense for covering the kids, and equitable payment for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

Typically this is divided equitably based on each spouse's income.

If one of you has a generous health benefit through your employer, then it may make sense for that parent to assume this responsibility.

Private school tuition

If your kids will continue to attend private school, or religious school, nail down during divorce who will pay for tuition, books, uniforms, school trips and other related fees.

Co-parenting plan

These are some elements of a co-parenting plan that you’ll want to consider in your divorce settlement:

Equal parenting time—no child support

I elaborate in detail here why equally shared parenting time in divorce is so important for children and women, but this is very often overlooked in divorce agreements.

By asking your kids' dad to take responsibility as a parent — and not just ‘give' him minimum ‘access' to, or ‘visits' with his kids — it dramatically reduces the conflict between you, dramatically increases the chances he will be actively involved (and not skip out on parenting), and that he will pay any support or extras that is required of him.

Also, when you have a co-parent who equally shares time caring for the kids, this means you have more time to work and earn — which is good for the whole family.

I know it can be hard — I was adamantly opposed to this initially — but expecting equal time of both parents is good for kids, parents, men, and feminism.

Since each parent now has equal time to work and earn, no child support also makes sense.

I elaborate on this in my book, The 50/50 Solution: The Surprisingly Simple Solution that Makes Moms, Dads and Kids Happier When Parents Split (Sourcebooks, March 26, 2024):

The 50/50 Solution by Emma Johnson.

Co-parenting mandates

Co-parenting mandates can include mandated co-parenting classes, regular, scheduled meetings with your ex, as well as your significant others (or other relatives actively involved in your kids' lives, like grandparents who live nearby).

By initiating things to ask for in a divorce on the front-end, you set a precedent for collaboration and communication that can carry you forward for the rest of your kids' lives.

Best online parenting classes — including co-parenting programs

Right of first refusal

First right of refusal means that if one parent can't be with the kids on their assigned days, the other parent has first dibs on that time. Very often overlooked in divorce agreements. This is often overlooked in divorce agreements but can stave off many arguments.

Co-parenting plan

You can create a parenting plan without an attorney by using a service like RocketLawyer, as well as work out details now, and ongoing (because — trust me! — life changes in ways you can't expect!) as well as a family or couples therapist. Don't overlook this!

Co-parenting apps can be part of this plan.

Coparent communication

You can establish how often you and your co-parent communicate, the amount of time each of you has to respond to a message, and modes of communicating required (text, say, opposed to phone or email — whatever you both agree on).

Rosenblum advises clients to explore co-parenting communication apps. There are many options to choose from these days. They are helpful because they keep all communications, kids events, receipts, and other documents in one place.

She says if you choose an app early on and include it in your negotiations, it can likely help you bypass the he said/she said back and forth when post divorce decree issues arise in the future.

You will likely agree to keep each other abreast of any medical or academic challenges faced by your children, as well as behavioral or emotional issues outside of normal kid stuff. Do not overlook this in your divorce agreements.

Tips for better co-parenting—including with a difficult ex

Coparent schedule

An equal parenting schedule can work any number of ways:

  • One week on, one week off with each parent
  • Two weeks on, two weeks off with each parent
  • Every-other-weekend, plus some weeknights with each parent
  • The 3-4-4-3: three days with one parent, four days with the other parent, four days with the first parent and then three days with the other parent
  • Two-days on, two days off (more appropriate for smaller children)

Summers, holidays and school breaks are also up for discussion and the co-parenting schedule, and should also be shared equally for sake of equal responsibility in parenting, as well as equal rights and enjoyment of the kids!

Go for 50/50 parenting schedules. Get examples of 50/50 schedules here.

Guidelines for holiday and vacation schedules

This often-overlooked item on a divorce agreement is a great opportunity to lay out how you will share special occasions and holidays with your ex.

However, keep in mind that you will need to be flexible and accommodating.

Life is long and complex — and both of you will likely seek and need this to be fluid going forward.

Shared time for vacation

Shared responsibility for caring for kids on summer, school holidays, breaks, half-days and when kids are sick. See above.

This time can be seen as a blessing or a burden, but it must be taken care of, and it is both parents' responsibility to arrange care or take time off work.

We can't close the pay gap until this happens.

Instead of arguing with your ex about taking time off, find a great sitter on Care.com and agree to share costs. Create a free Care.com account to search sitter profiles. Or get a 20% discount on premium memberships with code JOINCARE20.

Safety

Routine safety provisions in the other parent's home: No guns, window locks, smoke alarms, etc. Many parents overlook this in their agreements.

Coming-of-age celebrations

Very often overlooked in divorce agreements: Depending on your family's heritage and traditions, it may be important to you and your kids' dad to prioritize saving for and sharing the cost of celebrating your kids' bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, graduations, communion, baptisms, quinceanera, and prom.

Coparent calendar

It is important to create a shared co-parenting calendar, whether you use Google Calendar, or a scheduler in a co-parenting app. These calendars can be amended as both parties agree, as well as shared with nannies and babysitters, grandparents, and the kids themselves as they get smartphones.

Guidelines around relationships

Whether it is working on your new co-parenting relationship, supporting your children through the trauma of divorce, or starting to date again, this is a time of relationship transitions. A few things to consider in your divorce negotiations:

When each starts dating, who is allowed to be around the kids? Is a new partner allowed to spend the night? Can I meet the girlfriend or boyfriend first?

I elaborate on they whys of this in this post on co-parenting and dating, but in summary:

Clauses restricting your kid's other parent from introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to the kids are only based in control and jealousy, and are not enforceable. Plus, if you find a new partner is introduced, what do you want to happen? Drag your ex to court to be spanked by a judge? What happens if you do meet the new woman and you don't like her? You don't get a say in whether she will be your children's new stepmom.

In short: Skip these clauses, and focus on healing your hurt, jealousy and totally normal sense of loss of control. Trust me: It gets better.

Therapy for kids and teens

No matter how civil your breakup, divorce is hard for the children. Write into the parenting order that both parties are responsible for paying for and transporting kids to therapy sessions. It can be easy to overlook this since it can be uncomfortable, but put it in your agreement.

If time, money, and choice of counselor for your teen or child is an issue, consider online therapy sites like BetterHelp. Prices start at $65/week for unlimited messaging and weekly live sessions. Financial assistance available. Choose from thousands of licensed and certified therapists, and conduct sessions by phone, video, chat or email. Learn more in our review of BetterHelp.

Ongoing mediation or counseling after divorce for co-parents

Peaceful co-parenting requires frequent, ongoing communication. Especially initially after a breakup or divorce when emotions are at a fever-peak, this can be incredibly hard.

Instead of duking it out via text and screaming at one another on the front lawn in front of the kids and neighbors, and in place of continuing with expensive attorneys who are incentivized to amp up conflict, consider writing into your separation agreement or parenting plan ongoing family or couples therapy.

Learn more about family counseling.

Documentation

When you were married all the important documents resided in one home. Now, where do they live? Documents you need to account for include:

  • Birth certificates, Social Security cards and passports
  • Passport and written permission to travel internationally with the kids (or not)
  • Fair share of child care, after-school, camp and extracurricular activities
  • Care and estate planning for disabled children

Who holds birth certificates, Social Security cards and passports for the children?

If there is a flight risk or other serious issues in your custody arrangement, the primary custody parent will likely be granted holding rights for important documents. In any case, make this clear in your settlement.

Passport and written permission to travel internationally with the kids (or not)

Whether you have family in another country, envision vacationing abroad, or otherwise, every mom needs to establish this now. You also need to consider this if you have actual legal reason to worry your kids' dad will kidnap your kids abroad and want to make sure this is addressed at the time of travel.

Alternatively, make sure you get in writing that you have permission to travel internationally with your kids.

You may assume that you and your ex are on the same page when it comes to exposing your children to the world, or visiting relatives abroad.

However, your relationship with your ex could become contentious at any time, and that Mexico trip you planned for winter break can become rife with conflict.

Better to make this clear on the front-end.

Download forms for:

  • Child medical consent
  • Child travel consent
  • Visitation letter
  • Child care authorization
  • Power of attorney

Fair share of child care, after-school, camp and extracurricular activities

Especially if your kids are tiny, it can be hard to imagine that one day they may require thousands of dollars annually in these costs, but ask any parent: They add up to a lot.

Each parent should be expected to pay their share, dependent upon income (which will likely change in which case you will revisit the equation).

8 common causes and reasons for divorce

Care and estate planning for disabled children

If you have disabled children, make sure there are provisions to continue support and related care indefinitely. Even if your children are not disabled at the time of settlement, you must have a solid estate plan for yourself and them after divorce.

In her Nevada practice, Rosenblum has seen an increase in estate issues after divorce.  

She explains that, in Nevada, trusts created during and for marriage automatically dissolve when you get a divorce. State laws vary, so work with an attorney to find out how divorce impacts an existing estate plan.

“Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and beneficiaries all should be updated,” says Rosenblum. “Be clear about it in the divorce paperwork.”

Additionally, make sure the beneficiary information is correct on retirement plans, annuities, and pensions.

“If you want to keep receiving benefits if your spouse pre-deceases you, you must negotiate this in divorce,” Rosenblum says. “There is usually a cost associated with this and who bears the expense of this needs to be negotiated as well.” 

Companies like Rocket Lawyer help you create a legally binding estate plan and will for an affordable fee. More on estate planning and wills for single parents.

FAQs about divorce settlements

Here is what you need to know to create a fair and successful divorce settlement agreement.

What is a divorce settlement?

A divorce settlement is the contract that divorcing spouses agree to — whether with the help of attorneys, a mediator, or between the two of them privately — and then is filed in the courts as part of the final divorce paperwork.

The benefits of settling out of court include:

  • Lower cost
  • Lower stress
  • Speed
  • You and your ex have more control of the outcome of the divorce if you agree outside of a courtroom. Otherwise, a judge will determine your fate.

Divorce conversation starters for you and your spouse

See if you qualify in your state for an online divorce through BBB A+ rated 3 Step Divorce, and use discount code WSM25 for a $25 discount:

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How do you know what to ask for in your divorce settlement agreement?  These are some of the top things to ask for in a divorce that you may want to consider:

What can you negotiate in a divorce?

Everything is negotiable in divorce — though many couples can default to their state’s laws about things like child support payments, or any division of property that they can’t agree on. 

What should be included in a divorce settlement?

The requirements of a divorce settlement differ by state. However, here is a list of items to work through before your divorce is settled and finalized:

  • Time sharing and co-parenting of any children
  • Child support and division of expenses for the children
  • Division of assets, including property, debt
  • Division of investments, including 401ks, pensions, real estate
  • Who is responsible for paying any shared mortgages and car notes
  • Responsibility of outstanding taxes owed, and how taxes will be filed moving forward

How are divorce settlements calculated? How do they work?

Division of marital assets are determined by laws in your state — either 50/50, or equitably. However, you and your ex are free to negotiate a division of property and debts as you like.

Similarly for child support, each state has its own child support calculator. However, you and your spouse are free to agree on whatever terms you deem fair.

What should a woman ask for in a divorce settlement?

Even if you have the best of intentions of being fair and civilized, you are likely afraid, confused and overwhelmed by this legal process, and major life change. This can make you unsure of what to ask for as part of the divorce settlement.

Here is some guidance on what a woman should ask for in a divorce:

  • Quick, amicable divorce proceedings
  • The house (if it’s affordable)
  • Shared parenting time
  • Joint physical custody
  • Equitable distribution of marital property and debt
  • Co-parenting plan
  • Child support and insurance for the child (or children)
  • Spousal support (alimony)

FAQs about property in a divorce

If I divorce my husband what am I entitled to?

Laws vary by state, but typically in divorce, wives are entitled to:

  • Equitable distribution. That means that any assets acquired during the marriage are split 50/50. So, any value accumulated in your home or other real estate, the value of your 401(k) or other portfolio investments that were contributed to and grew during the marriage itself (not the engagement or time you lived together) is split in half.
  • Child support and maybe alimony. If the husband is the bigger earner, and the couple has children, the wife is likely entitled to child support based on a support calculator for their state. She will also likely share the kids' out-of-pocket expenses based on what each parent earns.

In the case of alimony, make sure the terms are clear in your divorce settlement, Rosenblum says. If you want to be able to modify it, that needs to be clearly stated. Also, indicate the conditions for ending alimony, such as remarriage or death.

What is separate property?

Non-marital property is personal or separate property. It includes inheritance, gifts, compensation from personal injury, property bought using personal funds, and proceeds of a pension vested before the start of a marriage. A business started before marriage is personal property, but if it increases in value during the marriage, or if the other spouse works at the business, a portion of it may become marital property.

Investment assets, including 401(k) and IRAs, real estate holdings, savings accounts and other assets acquired before the marriage are considered non-marital /separate property. But any contributions to investment funds made during the marriage are likely considered joint property— no matter who earned that money.

Who gets the car in a divorce?

Vehicles purchased during the marriage are typically considered marital property and the value of which are divided according to state laws — either equally or equitably. Exceptions include whether a vehicle is purchased by a company owned by one spouse.

Typically, if there are two vehicles, each spouse takes one, and any outstanding debt on the car note is factored into the final divorce settlement, or otherwise factored into other assets and debts.

Struggling to afford your car? Learn more about free and affordable cars.

Who gets the dog in a divorce? 

Legally animals, including dogs, cats and other pets, are property. Following a divorce, the pet belongs to either one spouse or the other. Traditionally, there is no “custody” of pets.

There is, however, a recent trend in courts to view pets as more than property. In Illinois, Alaska, and California, divorce courts consider the best interests of the pet. If one spouse bought a pet, got married, and let the other spouse take care of the pet, then the other spouse could make a legal argument in those states that the pet is their joint property. 

But for now, in most states, pet ownership is dictated by simpler property laws. Pets are given to the spouse who paid for or adopted the pet. If the pet was paid for with joint funds, then the spouse who initiated the purchase receives the pet.

In community property states, if your pet cannot be considered separate property, you may still have a few options for maintaining a relationship with the pet.

It is possible to co-own a pet, and you can draft provisions dictating the sharing of expenses related to its care as well as a visitation schedule. You can also try to obtain full ownership of the pet by giving up other property in exchange. Anything is negotiable.

Who loses more in a divorce?

Jenifer Foley, co-founder of Alter, Wolff & Foley LLP, a New York-based law firm that specializes in family legal services, says that depends on your definition of losing. 

She says a party can ‘lose’ in terms of money, if one party leaves the marriage with more than a fair share of assets or one person is ordered to pay more than a fair share of support.

“But the reality is maybe, in that situation, the payor decided they valued something more than cash and were very willing to pay extra money,” Foley says. 

She says in an ideal world, a marriage would end with the same kindness, love and respect that it started with, especially if there are children involved. 

“Unfortunately, many divorces are still conducted within an adversarial court structure, such that even in amicable divorces, there is a negotiation process and a desire to “win” — more money, more time with the kids, more power over decision-making for the kids, etc.”

Estate planning and wills for single parents

Bottom line: Know what to ask for and what not to forget in a divorce settlement

Foley says there are several things often overlooked in divorce agreements.

“A big factor that sometimes gets overlooked is how parents are going to resolve their disagreements in the future,” Foley says.

Even in the most amicable divorces, Foley says there should be a provision in any divorce agreement that sets forth the process that parties will engage if there is a future disagreement — rather than going to court. That might involve using a mediator or third-party neutral to help parties come to a peaceful resolution. 

Foley offers this advice to anyone getting a divorce: 

  • Know your own life as well as your attorney does
  • Take a financial management class to learn about managing money, budgeting, and investing
  • Hire a consultant, such as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)
  • Review your own spending and your family’s spending
  • Understand how much your lifestyle costs, so you will understand the decisions and compromises you will be asked to make during the divorce process
  • Ask your attorney lots of questions so you understand the law, what a court might do in your situation, what your risks are, etc.
  • Try to make well-reasoned, thoughtful, strategic decisions about your divorce and the next chapter of your life
  • Where children are involved, focus on what is best for them, remembering that children need both parents
  • Get professional help if needed about how best to co-parent your children without putting them in the middle
What is a divorce settlement?

A divorce settlement is a contract that divorcing spouses agree to — whether with the help of attorneys, a mediator or between the two of them privately — and then is filed in the courts as part of the final divorce paperwork.

What can you negotiate in a divorce?

Everything is negotiable in divorce — though many couples can default to their state’s laws about things like child support payments, or any division of property that they can’t agree on.

What should be included in a divorce settlement?

The requirements of a divorce settlement differ by state. However, here is a list of some items to work through before your divorce is settled and finalized: co-parenting, child support, investment accounts and debts.

How are divorce settlements calculated?

Division of marital assets are determined by laws in your state — either 50/50, or equitably. However, you and your ex are free to negotiate a division of property and debts as you like.

20 Comments

I’m divorcing after 28 years and no minor children. We can both afford the house which has over $200,000 of equity. What is the pro’s for me keeping it or letting him buy me out?

My divorce will go thru March 4th. We sat down as adults and with very little fighting agreed on all terms. Shared custody of a 15 year old, division of assets, selling the house, detailed (25pg) parenting plan, suppusal support. What I seem to have forgotten is social security. My question is is eligibility for (partial) of his SS have to be in initial divorce documents or we cross that bridge at 62. We have been married 25 years and I earn half what he does. Thanks

I have been legally married for 23yrs last year my husband engaged another woman and they now have 2 kids together without my knowledge.He doesn’t care about me nor my kids and I’m going through alot of mental conflicts.kindly advice me on the legal suit I can file against him

Thank you for this post. Lots of good info. Me, being a stay at home dad has had a difficult time with all this. For about 7 yrs my wife has worked and i have been at home. Soon after she stopped helping doing anything at home. Her routine became come home, get changed. Play on her phone, go too bed. So when i mentioned that things when working for us she flipped. She told me I was screwing her over. Our 15 yr old son wants to go with me because his mom kind of ignores him, his school stuff, and his sports. Our 18 yr old daughter is away in college. She said she saw this coming. We will need to sell the house. It will suck with all the work I put into it, but it is what it is. But she is insisting that women should get the kids and the house and I should just move out and go live in a box under a bridge. She also thinks NOW that i have a girlfriend, and that is what she is telling everyone. Truth is….i just dont have the heart for a woman anymore. I dont want to date, be intimate, Or even have a female friend. I have “tried” that( marriage ) for the past 20 yrs and apparently I suck at it.

So i see this is gonna be a difficult road, and she will fight me on everything. But i dont hate her, i just want the pain too stop. I would let her walk away with everything if she would let me just be.

Don’t just lay down and let her walk over you. You’ll regret it. Divorce takes time and allow yourself the dignity to go through with this with your head held high.

After my life was imploded by a cheating husband, I am just now meeting with attorney’s, and trying to figure out what I need to ask and do.
Thanks for the extra tips that I had not thought of. I’ll be making sure that the attorney mentions these as well.

Child support is the way to help pay living expenses. Any parent who is really a parent should want to be a part of anything else above and beyond that and help pay for it. Do they want their child seeing them not help out or the child suffer and not get to do extra stuff because they won’t help? I, MYSELF, would not want to be seen as “that parent” by my kids.
The more the decree is detailed and spelled out, the less there is to fight about. You MUST think of everything that may come up for all years to come. Consider adding when in the other parents care, they are to supply all needs for the child, give all prescribed meds whether they agree with it or not, taken to all extra-curricular activities while they have them, and so many more. THINK HARD about anything that may come up and talk to others who have gone through issues!!!! Great article!!

I have custody of my child does “The right of first right to refusal” apply only to the receiving parent? For example, If the parent who is scheduled to be responsible for the child is not able to be with and care for the child at the time during scheduled child visitation.

I’m looking out for the best interest for my child and would rather not have my child being pawned off to other family/friends members while he’s away working traveling out of state when he is supposed to being spending time with our child. We clearly live on opposite ends, him in the West Coast and I and the East Coast.

How can this matter be stipulated into the divorce paperwork?

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How do you insist on no guns in the house? This has been an issue our entire marriage. My husband refuses to get rid of them or keep them elsewhere, not even his parents house because it would be too burdensome for them (ha!) or a gun range because it would be too expensive.. He’s done nothing but purchase more gunsand not tell me about it. Marriage counseling has helped me deal with his BS bit not improved our relationship. Ideas?

My husband and I were just granted full custody of his 11, 9 and 4 year old Jan 29th, 2018.
The reason was their mom denied him his visitation numerous times and he documented it thru police reports. Emails and texts from her and her fiance proved she was trying to alienate their dad.

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Most of the list that wbat child support is for. Child support, because the the writer obviously has never heard of it, is money for the children. Asking for even more money for child activities, insurance, college tuition etc is just hateful. The money my ex pays for our kids go right to the kids to cover all those things. He doesn’t doesn’t pay anything else.

Child support is for food and utilities used when the children are at the other parent’s house. It is not for extra activities. Also, those with 50/50 custody do not receive child support. So yes, extra money for these k8nd of activities should be asked for because they are not covered.

Child Support is for the normal day to day expenses of raising the child. Food, Shelter, Transportation, Clothing, etc. In TX, the max child support obligation is 40% of Net Income + max 9% for Medical Premiums. (and that’s assuming 5 kids+ since it is tiered) I *wish* I could care for my kids on 40% of my income, but I am like most parents, who directly uses at least 90% literally on the kids day to day expenses. Child Support is not tied to coparenting in all states, so if I have them for 75% of the time, that also means I am providing 75% of their grocery bills and utilities, which comes from child support but it certainly not equitable if he’s only paying 40% of his income. So no, the items on the list are not intended to be covered by Child Support rather it is the *minimum*. To add, age 18 termination is a crock too since most kids do not leave home just because they graduate or turn 18, so I would add to the list that provisions for that should be negotiated.

Recommending shared parenting with a personality disordered parent is wrong. Unfortunately, sometimes the non-disordered parent is so smeared by the disordered one that the legal and even mental health system cannot tell the difference. That is bad for kids, period.

Can I ask about number 10? My kids have their own beds at my house (I’ve got primary custody), however they do not at their father’s. They sleep on the floor or the couch…
Now, I’m not ok with this sleeping arrangement, but how do they mandate that the kids have their own beds?

This is a great list! It’s so important to have a good lawyer to talk through these with. In TX, if I had insisted on sharing college costs, I would have had to give up part of the community property settlement. In the end, they got financial aid of grants and scholarships since they went to in-state public universities and I had claimed them on my taxes, not their dad.

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