Areas of Practice: Child Support and Custody
What is child support?
Child support is a payment by one parent (often the "non-custodial parent") to the other parent for the support of their common child. It is in the best interest of a child for both parents to be obligated to pay for the support of their child.
What is a child support order?
A Child Support Order is a document from a court that states (a) when, (b) how often, and (c) how much a parent is to pay for child support. A Child Support Order is typically part of a divorce decree or paternity judgment.
Who can be ordered to pay it?
A court can order either parent of a child to pay support to other parent. The court order for support is usually payable on a monthly basis. Many states now require that child support be paid by wage assignment (automatic deductions from the paycheck) whenever available, thus reducing the need for subsequent enforcement actions.
What is child custody?
Child custody is a term that refers to the rights and responsibilities that a parent carries with respect to his/her child.
What is child visitation and a "Parenting Plan"?
The term "child visitation" refers to the time when the non-custodial parent has the right to be with the child. The custodial parent's right to be with the child is often subject to the non-custodial parent's right to visit with the child.
The term "parenting plan" refers to the agreement between the parents or the court order which defines provisions for custody and visitation. The parenting plan also defines when the child is to be with the non-custodial parent.
What factors determine custody and visitation?
The primary consideration is, "What is in the best interest of the child?"
The best interest of a child is determined on a case-by-case basis upon consideration of all relevant facts concerning the circumstances of both parents.