While estate planning is important for all parents, it is especially important for single parents. This is because there isn't a second parent to fall back on if something happens to you. You want to make sure that your children taken care of both physically and financially if you were unable to.
It's no secret that it is beneficial for children to have both parents in their lives. This is why the Jefferson County Court prefers to share parental responsibilities and parenting time in Child Custody cases - because it is generally in the best interest of the child. Unfortunately, there are situations where one parent is absent from their child's life for a significant amount of time. Sometimes, it's because of bad choices (i.e. criminal behavior, drug use, etc.) and sometimes it's because of parental alienation and bad mouthing that made you back off from spending time with your kids. Regardless of the reasons why, it is possible to connect with your kids again and re-establish your child custody agreement and parenting time.
While there is not exact science or formula you can use to predict exactly how your children will react when you tell them that you and your spouse have chosen to separate or get a divorce, you will want to be extra sensitive to how they are feeling. Children will experience a gamut of emotions, just like you will, and they will deal with these emotions in their own way. Some may want to talk through everything, while others seem to retreat and don't want to discuss it. However your children react, the most important thing you can do is be there for them in whatever way they need you.
When you are getting divorced in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, or Westminster, there are a list of things that you need to make decisions on. This list becomes exponentially longer when children are involved. One of the things that is often overlooked is a plan for who will get to claim the children on their taxes. Because previously you had filed your taxes jointly as a married household, this is not something you likely have ever had to deal with. It's best not to make assumptions when the time comes to file, as the IRS does not allow any dependents to be claimed by more than one person. If that happens, there can be serious consequences.
Just like mediator can be helpful in working through contested issues in a Wheat Ridge divorce, the Jefferson County Court may appoint a Child Family Investigator (CFI) to be an impartial third party whose job is to investigate the best interest of the children. Because legal custody and parenting time issues can be emotionally charged, the court looks to the CFI to present a fuller, non-biased picture of the situation. Whether you are dealing with a specific child custody hearing, or handling parenting time issues as a part of a divorce, a Child Family Investigator may become a part of your case.