Are you getting divorced and have children involved? If so, some tough decisions will need to be made regarding child support and custody arrangements. Here are some key things to know about these two decisions.
There are actually three types of child support that a judge can order a parent to pay. The most common type of child support that is awarded is current child support, which is how much a person is ordered to pay in the future after the child support case is finalized. This is done by looking at the monthly net resources of the paying parent and applying the state guidelines for child support to determine the amount that is owed.
Some parents may also be ordered to provide medical child support, which is for children that have special needs that can involve increased medical expenses. The medical child support payments will only be necessary as long as the child is seeking medical care for their ongoing issues.
Retroactive child support can also be issued for the time period before the divorce is finalized to cover expenses by the other parent. This often happens if a parent left and did not provide any support, leaving the other parent to cover all of the expenses. Retroactive child support can extend several years prior to the divorce being finalized.
The key thing to know about custody arrangements is that a judge is going to make a decision based on what they feel is best for the children. Even if you have an agreement with your spouse already from mediation, all you can do is present your agreement to the judge and see if they agree with you.
The judge ultimately will make the final decision of who has legal and physical custody. Physical custody is given to the person that the child will be living with the majority of the time. This can sometimes be one-sided, with the child living with a parent the majority of the time, or joint physical custody, where it is split as evenly as possible.
Legal custody refers to which parents are able to make decisions about the child. It is very common for both parents to have legal custody of a child, even if one does not have primary physical custody. Having joint legal custody means that both parents will need to make decisions together about how their child is raised, which includes medical care, schooling, religious upbringing, and things of that nature.
Contact child custody lawyers in your area for more information.