divorced parents have an equal responsibility towards their children
Children of divorced parents fantasize that their parents will get back together and things will get back to what they used to be. This is one of the effects of divorce when children have a difficult time accepting that their parents are separating. It is a form of denial when they indulge in such fantasies. It is the responsibility of both parents to help their children come to terms with the separation.
Divorced parents have an equal responsibility towards their children. According to the Family Law Act, parents have shared parental responsibility. The only exceptions to these are if there are allegations of family violence or child abuse. Under normal circumstances parents must spend considerable and equal time with their children. Hence, divorced parents must still be present in the daily lives and activities of their children like school programs, sports events and recitals.
Child custody might become a sensitive issue to divorced parents. Both parents might vie for the sole custody of the child. In determining disputes about child custody the court will be guided by the principle of acting what is in the best interests of the child. Courts may grant sole custody to either parent or order shared custody. The courts will also take into account the child’s wishes especially when the child is already of age or mature enough to decide.
Another issue that may prove to be contentious for divorced parents is the payment of child support. Assessment for child support is conducted by the Child Support Agency (CSA). Child support may be paid directly to the parent who has custody of the child or it may be collected by the CSA. Divorced parents need to be honest in the disclosure of their financial resources and liabilities to the CSA because this information is needed in determining the amount of child support. Parents should always remember that child support is for the benefit of their child and so they must endeavour to cooperate with the CSA.
Divorced parents have a lot to deal with in terms of finances, property division and spouse maintenance. Still, they should always remember to put their children’s welfare and interests above their own.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.