It seems as though many people do not get a will because Mom and Dad do not agree about who to name as a guardian. However, when you are divorced, it is rather unlikely that both parents will die at the exact same time, since traveling together usually no longer occurs. So you can name a guardian of your choice in your will. It is common courtesy to discuss your choice with your children’s other parent.
During divorce mediation at Westfield Mediation, LLC, parents almost always agree that if s/he dies the other surviving parent will get full legal and physical custody of the kids. However, if that co-parent predeceased the spouse then the kids will live with the remaining parent’s choice of guardian. So the guardian only comes into play if both parents have died and have kids under the age of 18. If one parent dies then the kids live with the surviving parent. If both parents die then the kids live with the guardian named in the parent’s will who died second. These are morbid, awful thoughts but you want to make sure that someone is taking care of your kids.
So how is the guardian named in your newly created will going to financially support your children? Well, you were a responsible divorced parent and provided a life insurance policy with your children named as the beneficiaries. So now your kids no longer have your weekly income to cover their costs, but do have monies set aside to pay for their food, housing, entertainment, college, health insurance, camp, clothes, grief counseling, etc. They will be able to have their financial needs met even when you are no longer there to financially meet them. Life insurance also offers relief to the surviving parent. He/She also relied on your contribution from your weekly paycheck to provide for the kids. The other parent is not getting the money, your kids get the money. Now the financial responsibility is not solely on the other parent and your kids do not have to do without.
All parents should have a will and life insurance, and hope to not have to use either, for the well-being of their children. These documents become even more critical when you get divorced.
For more information about divorce mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.