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3 things to consider as you plan your kids' post-divorce life

As you move closer to divorce, you start thinking about how you want to plan for your children's future. Life is going to be different for them after the split. You want it to go as smoothly as possible.

Here are three key areas to consider:

1. Discipline preferences and parenting styles

It is easiest for children if both households are run similarly. You and your spouse may want to sit down and talk about how you will discipline the kids, what rules you'll use, when they'll have to go to bed and things of this nature. You may not agree on everything, and you don't have to, but the conversation is important.

2. Time and obligations

How much time do you both have? Do you both work? With joint custody, the kids typically live with both parents. You need to figure out a schedule that makes it possible. This can be far more complicated than many people realize. You also have to consider things like school activities, holidays, summer vacation and much more.

3. The cost of raising your kids

Kids are expensive. One of you may have to pay child support. You also want to talk about unexpected expenses. Who keeps track of it all? Who pays for a school trip? What about trips to the dentist or the doctor? Talking about money is often stressful, but you need to put your children's needs first.

Throughout this entire process, make sure you know exactly what rights you have and what legal steps you need to take during your divorce.

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