Custody and Support of Minor Children

There are two common types of custody, and those are legal custody and physical custody. Each parent can jointly hold legal custody, or only one will be awarded. When a parent has legal custody, they can make life decisions for the child, such as medical treatment, religion, and education. If both parents of the child are awarded joint legal custody, they must share in making life decisions.

Ideally, both parents are cooperative and willing to communicate with the other about their child. Physical custody may be shared between the parents, or solely. The non-custodial parent may still be given visitation rights despite not being the parent with sole physical custody. 

Child support may be determined by a variety of factors. The court system prioritizes the wellness of the child, and calculates support amounts so that the minor child or children always gets what they need to grow and succeed. Examples of factors that may be used in your child support case include:

  • Income of each parent
  • Who has physical custody of children
  • Who pays or receives alimony
  • Cost of children’s needs
  • Nearby support system (other family, friends)
  • The child’s hobbies/activities
  • Living arrangements of each parent’s home

In situations where parents share physical custody, there may or may not be a need for child support payments. The court will assess who has physical custody, number of overnights each parent has, and which parent deals with more of the child’s needs and extracurriculars. If the parents share custody equally, this doesn’t mean that child support won’t be mandated for one or both parents.

As a family lawyer, like one from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright knows, child custody matters can be incredibly stressful for parents, and the children too. Whether you are hoping for physical or legal custody of your children, it’s important to understand the factors that influence a judge’s decision.