Protecting Your Child’s Best Interests: Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody
Seeking joint or sole custody of your child can be an emotionally trying time. Depending on your circumstances, as well as the state of your relationship with the other parent, you may feel as though you are facing a difficult task. Fortunately, the guidance of a seasoned family law attorney can offer helpful assistance and peace of mind during this process.
At Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC, we understand your concerns. Whether you are seeking physical or legal custody, our attorneys can work with you to design a legal strategy that is right for you. Below are some frequently asked questions that our lawyers receive on this topic.
How will the court decide on custody?
When parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, a determination will be made by the court. In this situation, the court will weigh a number of factors before deciding on what is in the best interests of the child. These factors can include: the existing relationship the child has with each parent, the specific needs of the child, and the mental and physical condition of both parents.
Does my child have a say in custody determination?
The court can consider the child’s preference when making a custody ruling. The child’s age and level of maturity are often influencing factors in this decision.
If custody is shared, do I have to pay child support?
In a shared custody arrangement, child support is calculated based on several considerations. The amount of time spent with the child, as well as the gross income of each parent are two major factors that are taken into account in determining support, but there are other costs that are looked at as well. Health care, child care and education costs must also be evaluated. As joint custody is rarely an exact 50/50 split, one parent will be tasked with providing support.
Can I modify an existing custody arrangement?
If an individual’s financial or living circumstances have evolved since a custody arrangement was determined, a modification may be possible. In this situation, consulting with an attorney can prove helpful, as gaining a better understanding of one’s options can lead to a more positive outcome.