When a couple with children decides to separate or divorce, one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed is child custody and support. Child custody refers to the legal and physical responsibility for a child, while child support is the financial obligation of both parents to provide for their child’s basic needs. In this article, we will provide an overview of child support custody issues and the laws involved.
Types of Child Custody
There are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about a child’s life, such as education, healthcare, and religion. Physical custody refers to where the child lives on a day-to-day basis.
In most cases, one parent is awarded primary physical custody while the other parent has visitation rights. However, in some cases, parents may share joint physical custody where the child spends equal time with each parent.
Child Support Obligations
Both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children until they reach adulthood. The amount of child support paid by each parent depends on several factors such as income, number of children, and parenting time. Even if you did an extremely easy divorce in Alabama and agreed on everything at the time, child support is still addressed.
Even if parents share joint physical custody, one parent may still be required to pay child support if there is a significant difference in income between them.
Factors Considered in Determining Custody
When determining which parent should have primary physical custody of a child, courts consider several factors such as:
- The age and gender of the child
- The relationship between each parent and the child
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the emotional and physical needs of the child
- Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent
- The stability and continuity of each household
Modifying Custody or Support Orders
Child custody or support orders can be modified if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was issued. For example, if one parent loses their job or becomes ill and unable to work, they may request a modification in their child support payments.
Similarly, if one parent wants to modify an existing custody order because they believe it is no longer in their child’s best interest, they can file a motion with the court requesting a modification.
Child support and custody issues can be complex and emotionally charged. It is important for both parents to understand their legal rights and obligations when it comes to providing for their children after separation or divorce. If you are facing issues related to child support or custody, it is recommended that you seek legal advice from an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process.