When divorced or separated parents have children, they often face questions about which parent has custody of the children and how much child support one must pay to the other. This issue can be a difficult and emotionally charged topic for all involved. The courts have developed guidelines to help determine support obligations, but it is still a question that can be contentious and generates numerous questions from the parties.
Courts often award joint legal custody, which allows both parents to make major decisions about their child. This can include issues related to health care, religious upbringing, education and vaccinations. It is important to remember that a court’s main priority in custody cases is the children’s best interests.
If a judge grants joint physical custody to the parents, it is important to track how much time the child spends with each parent. This is because if one parent spends more time with the child than the other, they will need to pay more support than the other parent.
The child’s needs and the income of both parents are also significant factors that contribute to the determination of child support amounts. For example, if a child requires extensive medical treatment, the parent who has primary physical custody of the child will typically pay more support than the other parent.
Another factor that can have a significant impact on child support is the age of the child. Infants and younger children are usually less expensive to raise than older kids, especially if they have special needs.
This is why it is not uncommon for a child’s needs to change over time. For instance, an older child may have developmental issues or an illness that affects their ability to attend school. This can lead to a modification of the original custody arrangement.
If you are unsure of the best way to approach your modification, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney. An experienced divorce lawyer in Miami can help you understand your options and ensure that your case is properly handled.
It is also common for a custody arrangement to change when the parents are living apart from each other. This can occur because of a new spouse’s earning capacity, changes in the child’s needs or other circumstances.
In most cases, child support is determined based on state guidelines. This includes a formula that takes into account the income of each parent, as well as other financial factors.
However, the parent with a lower income generally pays more child support than the parent with a higher income. This is because the parent with a lower income has to provide for a child who is living with them, as well as pay for medical, educational and other expenses that are not covered by insurance or government programs.
In most cases, child support is based on a sliding scale based on how many hours the non-custodial parent spends with their child. This is because a non-custodial parent can have minimal to zero contact with their child, and their support obligation will increase. Conversely, a parent who has substantial time with their child will have a significantly reduced support obligation.