Many people have children, but when parents get divorced or aren't married, child custody can become an issue. In many cases, the courts choose who is the primary caregiver and who pays child support. If you would like to know more, keep reading.
Who Gets Custody of the Child?
Typically, the court awards custody to the parent who can provide the best, most stable, and most healthy lifestyle. They also want to ensure the child's life is disturbed as little as possible (staying in the same home, staying at the same school, etc.).
Overall, the courts will look at many factors, including:
- Job stability
- Other people in the home
- Stability of the home
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The relationship between parent and child
- Who previously provided the most childcare
- History of domestic abuse
The court will also ask the parents and child if they have a preference, but depending on the situation and the child's age, the court may not be able to follow the child's wishes.
How Much Is Child Support?
The parent that is not the custodial parent usually must pay child support. First, if one parent makes significantly more than the other, it can affect child support. For example, if the noncustodial parent has an extremely high income, they may be asked to pay more. On the other hand, if they don't have a job or limited income, the courts may reduce child support.
Many other factors affect the amount of child support, including:
- Any special needs the child has
- Other child support/alimony payments by either parent
- Ages of the children
- Who provides health insurance
- Other children from another marriage/relationship
- Daycare costs
Are There Other Factors?
Regardless of who gets custody, the courts prefer parents who are willing to work together. For this reason, even if you are a good candidate to be the custodial parent, if you are unwilling to talk to or let the kid see the other parent, the courts may deny custody.
In addition, your personal life can also affect your ability to get custody. If you participate in a lot of dangerous activities like drinking, or if you hang out with known criminals, the courts may look poorly on you.
In a child custody case, the most important thing is protecting the well-being of the child. In many cases, however, child custody cases can turn ugly and argumentative. If you would like to know more, or if you want help to protect your child during this hard time, contact a child custody attorney in your area.
For more information, contact a child custody lawyer near you.