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The Basics of Child Custody and Child Support

A divorce is already a difficult situation. However, divorce proceedings can become even more challenging when there are children involved in the process. Divorcing parents will need to make several different decisions in regards to the well-being of their children. While some couples are able to come to an amicable agreement on their own, most will need the intervention of a mediator or a family court in order to come to a concession. Among the many decisions divorcing parents need to make is with regards to child custody and child support.

A child custody arrangement determines how each parent will be able to participate and figure in the life and caretaking of children after a marriage ends and a divorce is concluded. In most U.S. states, child custody arrangements can be classified into the following:

  • joint physical custody, where both parents are deemed custodial parents and are given equal amounts of time living with their children;
  • joint legal custody , where only one parent is granted physical custody but both are able to make parental decisions about their children’s education, health care, and other important needs;
  • and finally, sole custody, where only one of the parents is granted physical and legal custody of the children.

Determining a child support agreement is necessary for the last two scenarios where only one parent is considered the custodial parent. In these cases, the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to offer monthly financial assistance to the parent with physical custody of their children. The amount of the payment will depend on important factors that revolve around the best interest of the children involved. In particular, the court will look into the age and needs of the children involved in the custody battle, as well as the age, health, and income of each parent. A child support agreement settled by the court ensures that the custodial parent will not be able to deprive the non-custodial parent his or her right to visit and spend time with the children. On the other hand, the non-custodial parent will also be unable to escape or avoid his or her financial responsibility to their children. This is true even when the non-custodial parent is denied their rightful visitation time.

Considering this information, it’s easy to surmise that child support payments can quickly become a complicated issue. As such, it would be best to contact experienced family lawyers for more specific details that could help your own situation. As the Arenson Law Group, PC divorce lawyers put it on their website, having qualified legal counsel on your side can be a very valuable resource during a difficult child custody proceeding and it could make the difference on the outcome.