Divorce Attorney Staten Island, NY
Should you have a child (or another child) to save your failing marriage?
When couples reach a difficult point in their marriage, some consider having a ‘band-aid baby” to save their failing relationship. Couples believe that a baby will help unite them, spark new love, and allow them to set aside their differences for a greater purpose. Should you have a child (or another child) to save your failing marriage? A divorce attorney Staten Island, NY, knows the turmoil that divorcing couples face with child custody cases and is prepared to provide highly capable and compassionate advice about having a child if your marriage shows signs of stress.
In New York, when you become a parent of a child, you are legally responsible for that child’s welfare and well-being until they are 21 years old – which means you are required to support them financially throughout that time. In addition to financial support, you are expected to behave in the “best interest” of the child. Courts will expect you to provide education and enrichment to the child. Even if you choose not to spend any time with your child, you are still expected to provide child support. Child support is based on the combined income of both parents, and can range from 17% for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three. Additionally, you are required to pay certain add-on costs such as medical expenses and educational costs. If you do not want to be financially responsible to someone else for 21 years, then you should not have a child.
Having a child is also extremely stressful, so if you and your spouse are having a rocky patch in your marriage, a child will only add to the stress. It is not uncommon for couples who were on good terms before a child to witness their marriage crack under the pressure of caring for a newborn. This is no different for couples who are already feeling uncertain about their future together.
Couples who have opposite parenting styles often divorce. If each spouse has different child rearing beliefs, then it will make it even more difficult for couples to put aside their differences. One party may realize that their love for the child far exceeds their desire to fix a broken marriage, and the eventual result is divorce. If you and your spouse fail to reconcile, you will be forever tied to them through this child. At every major event or stage of your child’s life, the other parent will be legally allowed to participate. You will be expected to communicate with the other parent in the best interest of your child. Both parties will be expected to notify the other party about major events in the life of the child. If one person wants to move far away from their current residence, they could be met with objections of the former spouse if there is a parenting plan in place. A divorce attorney Staten Island, NY has witnessed people from foreign countries be forced to remain in New York until their child is an adult because the other parent is an American citizen.
Couples who “stay together for the children” can realize once the child is grown that they have nothing in common. Empty nest divorcees will often express regret for staying in a broken and unhappy marriage for the sake of children for years. Adult children will also report that they grew up watching two parents extremely unhappy or constantly fighting and wished that their parents had separated rather than stay together under the same roof with tension and conflict.
If both parties wish to become the primary custodial parent of their child, then the entire family will be expected to be placed under the scrutiny of the court during a divorce litigation. The child will be assigned their own attorney, which the parents will be expected to pay for. The parents will both have to cooperate in a “Forensic Evaluation,” where a psychiatrist will meet with the parents and other people involved in the child’s life. The Forensic Evaluation can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. This evaluation will be provided to the court, and often includes a recommendation regarding custody arrangements. The parents will then have to undergo a “custody trial,” in which the court will hear testimony from both parents to determine the parent to win custody. A custody trial is very costly and time consuming.
The main benefit of remaining child free is to provide yourself a clean break from your spouse without the requirement of having to communicate with them again. Usually a child free divorce will be less complicated than a divorce with children.
If you and your spouse are interested in fixing your marriage, the best way to do so is with couple’s therapy. With a neutral therapist, you will be able to evaluate whether you are interested in keeping the marriage intact. If you have any doubts about your marriage, you should reconsider having a child. You should only have a child if you believe your marriage can be saved and you wish to remain with your spouse for the foreseeable future.
If you are in doubt about what course of action to take after you’ve considered the options for your marriage and family moving forward, contact a divorce attorney Staten Island, NY. An experienced legal professional’s counsel can be just what you need to prepare for the future. Contact the Kleyman Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.