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Child Custody And Support: Do Parents Have A Say?

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Everyone knows that when it comes to divorce, couples can save a lot of time, headaches, and money if they go forward into the process with good intentions to decide things amongst themselves. In most cases, this way of doing things works well. On the other hand, there are limits to what a parent can and cannot add to a divorce agreement – even when both parties agree on things. Read on to find out more.

Who Gets Custody?

When minor children are involved, parents have a lot of decisions to make. Custody should be considered based on the child's age and more. Some parents, and judges, feel that younger children do better with their mothers. That is not always the case, though. Shared or 50/50 custody can work well for parents of young children since they are more easily moved from place to place. Parents of slightly older children, however, should consider the stability and security of one parent taking sole physical custody of the child. The other parent would have joint legal responsibility and visitation. Finally, older children and teenagers may want to be asked their opinion when it comes to custody. Do so only if they are mature enough to understand the consequences of their decision.

Who Pays Child Support?

Child support is not as easily decided by the parents and it's not because it involves money. The state of residence of the parents has laws about child support and that takes precedence over the parent's wishes. Any parent who wants to voluntarily provide more child support than ordered can do so but they must provide the minor child with the minimum ordered each month. In most cases, child support is ordered for the non-custodial parent. In the event of shared custody, the parent who makes the most money should pay the child support. The amount is based on each state's median income.

Other considerations when it comes to the child support issue are:

  • Whether the providing parent has previous child support obligations in addition to the current case.
  • Who pays for childcare for the child and who pays the health insurance for the child? Either of these expenses could offset the amount the parent is ordered to pay.
  • Children who have special needs may need more child support than others.
  • Income and assets may be considered when making the child support decision.

For more information about these two important aspects of divorce, contact a firm like Reisinger Booth & Associates in your area.