Divorce will alter your life in many ways, including your approach to estate planning. You must consider what would happen to your children in the event that you pass on before they reach the legal age of 18, and your ex is unavailable or unwilling to take on full custody.
You're not legally required to name a guardian in your estate plan, but doing so will give you peace of mind. Answering the following questions will allow you to make the right decision:
- Does the person have the same parenting style as you? You don't want your children to go through any unnecessary changes, so choosing a guardian with a similar parenting style is a must.
- Is it okay to consider multiple guardians? If you have more than one child, you may want to consider this idea. It's not ideal to break your children up, but it may be necessary if you don't want to put too much burden on one person or one couple.
- Is the person financially stable? Raising children is expensive, so you don't want to choose a guardian who's dealing with financial troubles. Adding children to the mix will only put more strain on them.
- Is the person young and healthy? Choosing a young and healthy guardian is a must, as you don't want to have any concerns about them not being able to take on the duty should the time come. For example, an older guardian is more likely to develop an illness that prohibits them from raising your children.
- Are you comfortable talking it over with the person? You shouldn't formally name a guardian in your estate plan until you first discuss it with them. If the person is completely on board, you can confidently proceed. However, if they have some concerns, it may be best to consider another route.
These are the types of questions to answer when choosing a guardian for your children after divorce. With detailed answers guiding you, it's easier to make a decision that will protect your legal rights and put your mind at ease.