Raising a large family is tough, but intriguing research from the American Sociological Association indicates that your children could benefit more from those family bonds than you suspect; kids from large families are less likely to divorce. Unfortunately, that’s of little comfort as you go through a divorce of your own—one in which the sheer size of your family makes it seem impossible to plan for the future.
Your children can thrive after divorce, but you should still be aware of the unique concerns your family faces—and how you can address these issues proactively.
Custody and Visitation Complications
Custody and visitation arrangements can vary considerably among large families. Some parents prefer to keep all siblings together at once, with one parent taking primary custody and the other visiting children during weekends or holidays. In other families, a few children may reside with each parent.
With older children (and especially teens), the child’s personal preferences may come into play. For example, teens may choose to stay with whichever parent continues living closest to their friends.
Calculating Child Support
While child support for couples with several children technically echoes that of smaller families, the unusual custody arrangements outlined above can impact how—and how much—parents pay. This is particularly true in families with children from multiple relationships. Thankfully, the state takes these and other considerations into account when determining support obligations for large families.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services maintains a detailed child support guideline calculator that references not only the number of joint children (the legal children of both separating parents), but also non-joint children.
No matter how many children you have or how complicated your divorce may seem, you deserve help from a Minnesota attorney who cares. Contact the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. to learn more about our approach to child custody and support.