Divorce is not a decision many people make or take lightly. It is something that two people may come to after unhappiness and discord.

If your marriage is ending and you have children, you may feel wary of the divorce process. You have heard horror stories about continuing legal battles and downgrades in the standard of living due to the high cost of divorce. Getting accurate information about how divorce with children works is essential to better prepare for everyone for what is to come.

Separation and temporary support

You may make much less than your spouse, and the thought of having to go it alone, even while the divorce is ongoing, may overwhelm you with stress. If you and your spouse are amicable with each other and can reach decisions with little conflict, you may agree on temporary financial support. However, if you cannot get along that well, you may need to ask the court to establish temporary orders legally.

Child support calculation

While child support is specific to each family’s situation, there are some basics that you may use to get an idea of what to expect to receive or pay. In Washington, the court adds up all the income and then determines how much each parent contributes. A percentage determines how much of the monthly child support obligation each has to pay. For instance, if the income splits  45/55, then so does the child support contribution.

Parenting schedule

Perhaps your primary concern is where your children will live and how often you will see them. You and your spouse will create a parenting schedule that divides the time the children spend with each parent. This does not mean it will be equal. If one parent cannot feasibly care for the children half the time due to work or other conflicts, the parenting schedule will adjust.

Not understanding some of the basics of getting a divorce can heighten stress, but proper legal guidance can help to calm your fears and provide you with the answers you need.