If you are facing a divorce involving children, you naturally have questions about child custody. While your case will not be exactly like anyone else’s, the basics as they apply to child custody remain the same for everyone. If you and your divorcing spouse cannot reach a compromise regarding your child custody arrangements, the court will do so on your behalf, and the following FAQs pertain.
What Factors Does the Court Take into Consideration?
Physical custody can be either joint or sole. It is important to note, however, that – even with sole custody –the other parent is typically allowed a visitation schedule (based on the court’s belief that having both parents in a child’s life is preferable whenever possible). When determining child custody arrangements for a divorcing couple, the court will take wide-ranging factors into consideration to ensure that the children's best interests are preserved, which is always the court’s motivation. These include:
- The children’s relationship with each parent
- The children’s present living situation (the court may favor preserving the status quo)
- The relative health of each parent
- Each parent’s ability to provide the children with care that is necessary and with a stable living environment
- The children’s evolving developmental needs and each parent’s ability to address these needs
- Any special needs that any of the children have
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Child support is a payment mechanism that helps balance each parents’ financial responsibility for their children in relation to their ability to pay. Generally, the parent with whom the children live the majority of the time receives child support payments from the parent with a visitation schedule. Even if you and your ex split your time with the children directly down the middle, however, the higher earner is still likely to pay child support to the other parent. This is intended to help the lower earner provide the children with a lifestyle that is similar to the one they enjoy with the other parent. The child support payments themselves are based on state calculation guidelines that the court tends to adhere to (unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as a child with special needs).
Do I Need a Family Law Attorney?
If you are facing child custody concerns of any kind, you are well-advised to seek the professional legal counsel of an experienced family law attorney. The outcome of your child custody case is far too consequential not to have skilled legal guidance on your side.
It Is Time to Consult with an Experienced Attorney
Child custody issues are weighty concerns that require skilled legal attention. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is an accomplished family law attorney who is committed to helping you obtain child custody terms that support you and your children’s best interests. For more information about how we can help, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.