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Divorce & Children

If you and your spouse decide to get a divorce or legal separation and you have minor children together, then you will have to make major decisions regarding them   For example, you will need to figure out where and with whom the minor children will live. The two of you should decide who will have legal responsibility for making decisions for them such as where they will attend school and who will provide their medical care.  You will also have to decide how they will be supported financially.  If you and your spouse cannot agree on these issues, the court will decide them for you. While a divorce (or separation) action is ongoing, the court may be required to issue temporary orders on these matters, which will be finalized when the case is over.

You and your spouse must follow the court’s order on these issues until each child reaches the age of 18 (or 21 years old for child support of unemancipated children), unless you get the court to change or modify its decision.

Child custody is the determination of where the minor children of the marriage should live and who should be responsible for them.  Often, one parent may end up with exclusive or sole custody of the minor children, and the other parent will get regular and unsupervised visitation rights, unless there is a reason (such as abuse) to limit those rights.  The parent who gets custody is called the custodial parent, and the parent who gets visitation is often called the non-custodial parent.