Legal Counsel When Child Support And Custody Are Under Review By A Family Law Court
Raising children is challenging enough even when parents are married and committed to doing the right things for their offspring. A separation or divorce, or a birth outside of marriage can make parenting seem like an overwhelming puzzle to solve. How will you and your child’s other parent cooperate well enough to nurture your child properly?
Rest assured that you are not alone in your worries about co-parenting with your ex. At The Quitmeier Law Firm, we are available to guide you with compassion and skill through the legal processes.
About Child Custody
If you are preparing to divorce or separate from your spouse, a child custody and visitation order will become part of your divorce decree. Mediation with your soon-to-be-ex is part of the process for agreeing on a parenting plan. Your child custody order may spell out specifics such as:
- Where your child will live most of the time
- How your child will be transported between parents’ respective homes
- How weekends, holidays and special family occasions will be accounted for
In legal terms, your custody order will stipulate which parent(s) will have physical custody and legal custody. Even if you do not live with your child an equal amount of time (through physical custody), you may have equal decision-making power (legal custody) for your child.
If you and the other parent have never been married to each other, one of you may pursue a paternity action and a petition for custody. The resulting court order will be a standalone document.
About Child Support
In Missouri, family law courts use economic tables to determine how much it typically costs to raise a child. The noncustodial parent pays a percentage of that estimated cost to the custodial parent. Because the end result is based on proportional shares of parents’ incomes, one parent may need to pay child support to the other even when the parenting plan involves a 50-50 parenting time split.
The state may enforce child support obligations through a variety of methods, including deductions from employers’ paychecks if necessary. Neither bankruptcy nor death can wipe out child support arrearages. Therefore, it is important to ensure that calculations are based on accurately reported income for each parent.
You likely have questions and concerns about child custody and support as part of a divorce, separation or stand-alone court order.