The facts are indisputable. Children want and deserve both parents in their lives. Even when they have been alienated by one or both of the parents. And, even when one of the parents is rarely there. The children relate to the time away as something to deal with better than we see that as adults. The records show that in courts you rarely get what is best for the kids. Child dysfunction often rises as a result of children living with only the input of one parent, especially when they witness the alienation of the other. It is up to both parents to decide how you want to share the parenting. It is not measurable by time availability alone. In mediation the record also shows that the participants want and receive joint custody over 90% of the time. Those children usually do the best post divorce.
Couples seeking to end their relationship must consider the support of their children before they concern themselves with other things. Basically child support should be a mutually agreed upon working amount of money that is manageable for each to continue caring for the needs of the children and to move on to another day. The court uses statutory guidelines to avoid differences. But that is not necessary. What is precisely and sufficient for the family needs should be agreed to without destroying the ability of the major support payer. There are statutory guidelines that can be considered, but it is not necessary to be so precise so as to bypass what is functional and sufficient for the family needs. Many deal with circumstances that can help or hinder the lives of support obligations. However, the guidelines are normally acceptable to work with in most cases.
Maintenance is what was formally known as "alimony". The law and limits for maintenance keep changing. Unless there is debilitating physical hardship, lifetime maintenance is not applicable. The primary goal of a choosing maintenance is to provide assistance for spouse who is not able to earn a living. Maintenance is often a subjective choice. Many go into a divorce expecting an award when it may not be appropriate, and may be surprised to know that it may not be available to the extent history has shown. When the income levels are similar, there may be no need for maintenance. In mediation the couple can decide how there individual family needs can be met by utilizing a maintenance clause in their stipulation that are valid and appropriate for them.