The Basics of Child Support and Child Custody

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With about half of marriages ending in divorce, it is no surprise that it has affected all of us either directly or indirectly. Divorce is always hard, but it is hardest when there are children involved. This week we are looking into child custody, arguably the most difficult component of divorce to couples with children because emotions run high. We want to learn more about how child support and child custody are determined.

Why we’re asking:

To most divorcing couples, their first concern will naturally be their children. The well-being of their children is important to them, and they’re concerned about how parenting will work once the divorce is finalized. Many parents fear not being able to see their children at all after divorce. Child custody and child support tend to quickly become heated battles. We want to learn more about the process to understand how such decisions are made, and what parents can do to make the process less painful.

We look to our legal resource network to learn more:

How are child support and child custody determined?

Are there really any advantages to being the mother or father in earning custody rights?

How should parents ensure they put their best face forward in court?

What child custody arrangements are most common?

We look forward to learning more about this sensitive topic.

Share your thoughts below!

13 COMMENTS

  1. In New Jersey, we often use the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines to determine child support. We take mom and dad’s incomes and use the Guidelines to determine the cost of raising one or more children based upon mom and dad’s incomes. Mom and dad contribute towards their children’s expenses in accordance with their respective incomes. The Guidelines account for basic needs – housing, clothing, food, utilities, activities, etc. Health insurance premiums, child care expenses, private school tuition, and extraordinary expenses can be added to the basic child support awards.

    Child custody issues are determined in the best interests of the children. Custody includes legal custody and residential custody. Legal custody is who can make legal, medical, and educational decisions on behalf of the child. Parents generally share joint legal custody. Residential custody involves parenting time and how much time the children share with each parent. This could be a week on/week off, every other weekend, or rotating schedule arrangement. There’s no one size fits all with custody determinations – it is what works best for the parties involved. In New Jersey, we have court provided mediation services available to help parents determine custody and parenting time schedules.

  2. Child custody and visitation are the most heated topics I see in family court, with child support being a close second. In my experience, the thing that trumps all else is what is best for the child. Every child is different and every set of parents gets along differently. In Missouri, the presumption is that it is best for a child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. Thus, visitation schedules usually reflect an equal amount of time with each parent unless there is some reason why it is better for a child to have less time with one of the parents. The “tender years” presumption has become somewhat outdated, so there is little or no preference shown for mothers over fathers anymore. The best thing parents can do in court is to put the needs of their children ahead of their own. Emotions run high during any case in family court and money always tends to cause stress. Child support in Missouri is calculated through a complicated formula that factors in the income of each parent, what major expenses they are covering for the child, and how often they get to see the child. Thus, while it is somewhat negotiable, it is also difficult to argue. The best things parents can do is to be flexible, get the help and support they need to stay rational, and learn to love their children more than they hate each other.

  3. How are child support and child custody determined?

    Child support is often calculated by using a formula based on income of each party. However, if the parents make over a certain income, then support may be determined by the lifestyle enjoyed by the couple during the marriage. The thinking behind this is that the divorce was not the fault of the children and therefore their lives should change as little as possible. For instance, if a child’s life included this sport or that camp, and the couple’s income can afford to maintain that schedule because the income is high enough, then the courts feel that this should continue. But how support is actually calculated varies from state to state so be sure to check your state’s family law website to get more specific information.

    Child Custody is determined in a similar way in that the children should have as little change in their life as possible during and after a divorce. So the ‘status quo’ which is how time was divided before, are often the standard. However, if a parent did very little with a child before and in the divorce is asking to spend more time to get closer to an equal split in time, the Courts will absolutely try to get as equal an arrangement as possible. Sometimes in search of that equal split, Judges do what is called ‘splitting the baby.” This expression conveys the sentiment that regardless of what’s best for the child, courts want to award parents 50/50 custody. This is often true because they believe it to be in the best interest of the child. Whether or not it really is depends very much on the relative fitness of parenting that each parent is able to provide.

    Are there really any advantages to being the mother or father in earning custody rights?

    The law likes to be impartial but the reality is that there are some natural times in life when children are more closely bonded to one parent or the other. For instance, oftentimes from the age of birth until children are out of diapers, they spend the bulk of time with their mothers. So ages of the children could be a factor in determining the amount of time with each parent. What you have to keep in mind is the concept of ‘status quo.’ Courts like to minimize the impact on children so they try to make as few changes as possible after a divorce. There are naturally going to be changes because the parents are living in two different locations. However, if the children were spending a certain percentage of time with their mother and a certain percentage with their father prior to the divorce, the Courts usually try to maintain that percentage split. That can change, however, if children are going through certain developmental changes and need more time with one parent or the other as a result. It could also shift if the safety of the child is at issue. Basic care, safety, security, necessities of life, these are the things that are critical for children. If there is evidence of neglect, abuse, inappropriate parenting, etc. then these facts could absolutely impact the percentage of time the child spends with one parent or the other.

    The other major consideration for custody splits is which parent will facilitate communication best with the other parent or which is better able to keep the memory of the other parent alive when they are not around. This is very important and frankly the reason many people end up with much less custody time than they expected. Children benefit from having both parents and not feeling abandoned by either. If one parent is talking poorly of the other and keeping the children from communicating with the other parent while they’re in that first parent’s custody, that is probably the parent who will end up losing the privilege of having a lot of time with their children.

    How should parents ensure they put their best face forward in court?
    The focus must always be the children. The best face one can put forward is the toughest: calm clarity. Judges understand that divorce is a highly emotional experience for parents. But if those high emotions are displayed in court, then the Judge has good reason to think they will also be displayed in front of the children that could be harmful to them and very inappropriate. So the best advice I have is to be prepared, be clear, stay calm, have what you are asking for clearly written down and be prepared to have a conversation with the Judge. Understand that the
    Judge has to make an informed decision without really knowing you so help make their job easier by speaking in a clear manner, with logic and patience. Parents should also be real. When thinking of the children’s best interest, they should be honest about what the percentage of time split has been – and not just put on their ‘best face’ to avoid having to pay higher support in exchange for lesser time. That doesn’t mean that the parent who traditionally spent less time with the children should not ask for, and receive, greater time now that the couple is divorcing and living in separate locations. But before trying to make changes to their children’s lives, I highly suggest thinking through first what would have the least impact on them and then phasing in over time whatever new amount of time is being requested.

    What child custody arrangements are most common?

    There are a few child custody arrangements that we see again and again.
    One very popular schedule for working dads is that dads take Wednesday dinner, sometimes with an overnight to school on Thursday, and then every other weekend. Holidays are almost always split between the parties (Winter break in half) unless the parents live in two different locations in which case the non custodial parent may have more vacation time to approximate a more equal custody split. Another schedule for the non holiday time with a more equivalent split is the five days on, five days off, three on, three off. Still another schedule has one week on, one week off, changing on Sundays. Some parents choose “nesting” arrangements which is where the children stay in the same house and it’s the parents who switch back and forth. While great for the children, this can be tough on parents. Sometimes parents will also try this as an interim move so the children have time to get used to the idea that the parents are not with them together and the move to different houses once things calm down. It’s hard to say which arrangements are better – but I tend to think the ones with the least impact and confusion on the children is best. This often means that one parent will have most of the school days (if that parent stays at home or is the homework parent) while the other parent has more of the weekends and free time, but ideally children don’t have to go through the “If it’s Tuesday This Must Be Belgium” dilemma. If children know every X day they’re at mom’s and every Y day they switch to dad’s, that tends to take the guesswork out of the equation. Parents also often change days to accommodate their schedules but I’d urge people to do this as little as possible because children in emotionally charged situations need stability, routine and structure. If the parents are constantly changing things to accommodate their own schedules, the confusion can often wreak havoc on the children and cause them to become unglued. Whatever the schedule, it is important for children to spend time with both parents so they don’t feel a sense of abandonment from either parent. But how that time is spent and when (day time, weekends, overnights) are the items that should be considered when creating a split that gives both parents time with their children.

  4. In Arizona, child support guidelines are in place that determine how child support is calculated. The court has a child support calculator that looks at the gross monthly incomes of both parents. It also considers whether the parents support other children, receive or pay spousal maintenance (alimony), have child care costs and looks at the monthly medical premium. Most importantly, the calculator accounts for the number of days each parent spends with the children. All of these factors contribute to a final child support amount. The gender of a parent has no effect on this calculation. Arizona child support is based completely on the financial factors and parenting time. Even if the parents share the parenting time equally, one party may be entitled to child support if there is a disparity in income or one parent is responsible for the majority of the expenses.

  5. First of all, custody and child support laws vary by state and the way that they are interpreted
    vary by district and even by judge, so it’s difficult to make blanket
    statements across the country.

    Typically in a litigated divorce, the judge looks at evidence provided by
    the parties’ attorneys to determine where the children should end up and how
    much time and influence each parent should have. Then s/he uses a standard
    calculator according to each state that determines child support based on
    parents’ income and nights the children are at each parent’s home. (You
    can find these calculators online for most states.)

    In mediation, the parents sit down together and
    develop a parenting plan for their children based on what is in their
    children’s best interest and what will work most effectively for the
    parents. In this way, not only are they able to tailor their own plan to
    their needs but they begin to create a positive working relationship with
    which they can co-parent. Often the courts leave them depleted and at war,
    which is not the best way to raise children.

  6. When divorce happens, you and your spouse can still make major decisions that effect your children. Simply put, custody consists of how time will be shared between parents and how major decisions will be made for your children. The time that your children spend with each of you can be decided by the two of you together. You do not have to let a judge or attorney make the decision for you. In mediation, we work to help parents make these decisions together. What will benefit your children the most is having two parents who get along in regard to parenting matters. The manner in which your children will be financially supported is also a question that you as parents can decide. Most states have a formula for calculating child support based upon parents income. For some parents, this process of determining child support is helpful but for lots of people, the “one size fits all” solution doesn’t work or it stirs up unnecessary conflict. I strongly encourage parents to do everything they can to stay our of court. Mediation is helpful in providing balance in discussions and allowing parents to make important decisions together.

  7. 1. It is no longer termed “custody” in Arizona. The Courts recently changed the Arizona statutes to delete “custody”. Instead, the phrase “decision-making” is used. Parents can either have sole decision-making or joint decision-making. The Courts have a preference for joint decision-making unless one parent has major problems, such as addictions, criminal issues, domestic violence problems, etc. Joint decision-making means that both parents are involved equally in making major life decisions for the children and major life decisions include decisions for education, religion and medical care.

    2. Joint Decision-Making does not necessarily mean that the parents have equal parenting time. Often people confuse decision-making with parenting time. They are different concepts but involve the same parents and children. Parenting time is a separate determination from decision-making authority. In other words, the parents can have joint decision-making authority, but one parent may have less parenting time than the other.

    3. Decision-making and parenting time are determined in a variety of ways if the parents cannot agree. Sometimes the Courts will refer parents to a mediator to see if any agreements can be reached. Sometimes the parties choose to have a full-blown custody evaluation, which encompasses psychological testing for everyone involved and is done by a Psychologist. Sometimes the Court will have the parties participate in a session with a Court approved evaluator who will then submit a report and recommendations to the Court. Sometimes the parties will just go to trial and let the Court determine. At the end of the day, the Court will enter an Order determining which decision-making path the parties will have and what kind of a parenting schedule the parents and children will have.

    4. In Arizona there is no preference for either parent’s sex as to decision-making or parenting time. I have had fathers end up with sole decision-making and/or primary residential parent status.

    5. Best avenue for parents to take is to be truthful and not involve the children. Underhanded tactics seldom work when it comes to children and often an alienating parent sees the tables turn when the children get older. Best thing parents can do is to come to a workable arrangement for the benefit of the children instead of themselves. This is often the most difficult idea to get across to parents.

    6. I don’t know if there is a “common” arrangement for children. What I see a lot of is joint decision-making, with one parent having slightly more parenting time because of school schedules, so one parent may have the school week days, alternating weekends, and the other parent has more time during the summer to compensate. Most holidays and school breaks are alternated or equally divided. I do see a lot of equal parenting schedules for older children, although in my experience, this schedule is hard on younger children and I wonder if it is for the benefit of the parents more than the children.

    7. Child support is exclusively formula driven based on the gross monthly incomes of the parents, the number of children involved, and the parenting time schedule. Additional expenses included in the determination of support are health insurance costs and child care costs. There is some discretion with the Court to allow additions for special needs. If the parents agree to an amount of support different than what the Child Support Worksheet would set, the Court has to agree to the deviation. Child Support can be calculated on-line through the Maricopa County Superior Court’s website.. Also, the tax deductions for the children are awarded to the parents in the same proportion as his/her income on the Child Support Worksheet [meaning, if a parent has 60% of the income for child support purposes, he or she will be awarded the tax deductions 3 out of 5 years].

  8. CHILD SUPPORT

    Unless both parents are salaried individuals with clear income amounts, the reality is that this is a sausage making process. Self employed individuals under report their income, and the custodial parent is motivated to act as a gatekeeper on custodial time in retaliation for the under-reporting ex.

    Because child support and child visitation ( a hideous term and construction ) are inversely related, meaning the less time you have with a child, the more you pay, it is in the custodial parent ( the one with more time) to keep as much time as possible.

    CHILD CUSTODY

    Because the support amount is determined by “custodial time” there is a motivation to make up false allegations and to paint the “out parent” as negligent, unprepared, hazardous, and/or incompetent to maximize the amount of money they have to pay.

    The courts are “in theory” supposed to act in the best interests of the child, however, when one party is engaged in character assassination of the other, it is almost impossible for a court to act in the best interests, they can only act in the “cover the court’s ass in the best way possible” interest.

    The reality is that the party who is most deceitful and willing to be vicious will get the most time and money. Which is why non-custodial parents need to present the strongest possible case of their abilities and time commitments to the child.

  9. Georgia mandates that child support be determined by application of the Georgia Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines use an income share approach, which means that both parents’ incomes are used to determine the appropriate amount of child support for the number of children involved. If the children have special needs, attend private school, or are very involved in numerous extra-curricular activities, those expenses will also be taken into account. The parent who pays for the children’s health insurance is given credit for the amount of the premium as well. The financial information is inputted into a child support worksheet, which calculates the child support to be paid to the custodial parent. While there are other factors that can be considered when determining child support, such as shared custody, those other factors are within the discretion of the court if the parents are unable to reach an agreement on the appropriate amount of child support given the special circumstances.

    Child custody decisions are much more difficult. The standard to determine custody is the best interest of the child or children. When making a custody determination, the court starts with the premise that it is in the best interests of the children to have meaningful contact with both parents on a regular, consistent basis. In Georgia, it is almost unheard of for a parent not to see his or her children regularly after a divorce, unless the parent chooses not to exercise parenting time. Even a mentally ill or actively addictive parent will see his or children in a supervised setting. If one parent denies the other parent his or her court ordered parenting time, Georgia courts will enforce the parenting time order through their powers of contempt and, in some circumstances, even change custody to the parent who has been wrongfully denied their parenting time.

    In determining what is in the best interest of the children, the courts will look at numerous factors, including the relationship between the children and each parent, the ability of each parent to care for the children, the ability of each parent to encourage and foster a healthy parent-child relationship between the children and the other parent, and each parents involvement, or lack thereof, in the educational, social, and extra-curricular lives of the children during the marriage. There are numerous other factors that the courts consider, but the important thing to understand is that the courts make custody decisions based upon the particular facts and circumstances of the family for whom it is making the custody decision. The courts also have the ability to appoint a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”), who is an individual trained in child custody and child development issues. The GAL will conduct an investigation and make a recommendation to the court and the parties on what is in the children’s best interests. The court is not bound by the recommendation, but the recommendation will be among the factors considered by the court in determining what is in the children’s best interests.

    That being said, it is always preferable for the parents to do everything possible to come up with a parenting plan to which they both agree and not to let the court decide. The worse thing parents can do their children is have a highly conflictual relationship. Children of divorce do very well when their parents are cordial with each other, and continue to work together for the sake of their children. Further, the courts are too busy to craft parenting plans that take into consideration all of the nuances of the family’s circumstances, and the court will rarely order a parenting plan that will work as well for the family as a parenting plan that is agreed upon by the parents without court intervention.

  10. In South Carolina, the amount of child support is either determined by agreement of the parties or calculated in accordance with the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines are state law mandated and calculated according to the gross monthly incomes of the parties, the number of children involved, other dependents of the parties, and credit is given to the respective party who pays for health insurance coverage of the minor child(ren) and/or work related childcare. The Court does have discretion to deviate from the guidelines when deeemed necessary as well as determine child support for higher income level parties.

    Custody battles can be very difficult, heart wrenching, and expensive. As to the custody determination, the Courts are guided by the best interest of the child standard. This subjective analysis will be determined by examining among other things the fitness of the parents, their ability to provide a safe, sober and moral environment for the child(ren), and the ability of the parent to promote the best educational, social, religious, and psychological environment.

    There is no clear legal advantage to being the mother or father in a custody battle. The Court will look at the totality of the evidence presented and award custody to the parent who the Court deems will promote the best interests of the child. The Court has discretion to award sole custody to one parent; joint or shared custody to both parents; or joint custody with one parent being designated as the primary custodial parent. The Courts may appoint a Guardian ad litem to conduct an investigation on behalf of the Court to assist in this determination.

    The way a parent can put their best foot forward in custody litigation would be first to honestly evaluate what is the best type of custodial arrangement to benefit the child? The Courts are sensitive to the motives of parents. Be very clear as to why you are pursuing custody. Parents must also be very concise in documenting and calendaring events to provide this accurate and concise information to the Court and the Guardian ad litem.

    Parents should also develop their witness list and provide affidavits
    from those witnesses as to the type of parent he or she is and the relationship between the parent and child. Also key is to incorporate expert witnesses such as a counselor or psychologist into the case to provide insight into the needs of the child and which parent best meets those needs.

    Parents must show dedication to the child’s well being. It is prudent that a parent not seem vengeful when seeking custody. In addition, the Court expects parents to not involve a child in custody litigation. In essence, the parent’s motives must be pure when pursuing custody and the proof of who is the best custodial parent must be substantial and convincing.

    I do believe intelligent reasonable parents should mediate or reach an agreement on the child related issues stemming from a divorce. It is much better for the parents to craft their own custodial agreement than allowing the Court to establish the custodial arrangement and visitation schedule when he/she knows very little about the nuances of the parents’ lifestyle, beliefs or schedules.

  11. For most divorcing couples and single parents, their primary concern is how to protect their children and provide for their children’s needs. Understandably, the legal processes relating to these needs can be overwhelming to those who are new to the process.

    In Pennsylvania, courts determine custody pursuant to the pertinent statute, 23 Pa.C.S.A. Sec. 5101 et seq. (“Custody Act”) and case law. Under said statue, the courts must consider 16 factors when determining award of custody. Some of these factors include which party is more likely to encourage continuing contact between the child and the other parent, the parental duties performed by each parent, which parent is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child, and any other relevant factor. (This last factor allows the courts to consider other factors as they may deem appropriate.) In addition to the Custody Act, the courts also take into consideration precedential opinions by the Superior and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

    Most Common Pleas Courts in Pennsylvania require parents to attend private mediation and/or court conciliation prior to litigating their case in court. If there is no agreement reached, custody litigation will move onto the trial court. Although the courts do not encourage litigation, either parent may seek modification of a custody order if he/she believes doing so will be in the best interest of the child/ren. Change in circumstances is not required as a basis for modification.
    In Pennsylvania, child support is determined pursuant to the Support Rules and Guidelines, set forth under the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedures, Rules 1910.1 et seq. The Guidelines consider each parent’s actual earnings or earning capacity in order to calculate each parent’s share of basic child support. There is a reduction in the obligor parent’s share of child support if he/she has 40% or more of total parenting time. In addition, the Rules require parents to share expenses such as health insurance, child care and some activity expenses (especially if the child has been actively involved in a particular activity). As for non-reimbursed medical expenses, the Guideline support amount includes up to $250 for out-of-pocket costs every year. When the out-of-pocket costs exceed the annual $250 threshold, the additional expenses will be allocated between the parents in proportion to their incomes.

    A support complaint is filed by one parent at the local county’s Domestic Relations Office. Although the support rules are applicable statewide, procedural practice varies from county to county. Typically, the parents will attend a domestic relations conference and/or a Master’s conference, where child support obligation will be calculated and a recommended order is entered. If either the parties disagree with the Master’s recommended order, he/she may go to court to take exceptions and challenge the Master’s determination.

    Unlike custody, a parent seeking modification of support obligation is required to show evidence of significant change(s) in circumstance, such as reduction in income, increase in income, loss or gain of employment. Depending on the increase or decrease of one’s income, the parents’ overall child support obligation and relative share of that obligation may change, and a new support order may be entered.

  12. Child support and child custody issues are emotional and stressful issues for parents and their children in a divorce. Many times, parents stop communicating with each other. Often one spouse may exhibit anger, disappoint and frustration towards the other blaming the other spouse for the failure of the marriage. They may use their anger towards their soon to be ex-spouse by making it difficult for the other parent to see the child or withholding money if they are the primary wage earner. Although the courts in New York and other jurisdictions prefer that couples work out their custody, support and property division issues on their own, when they are unable to do so, the courts will intervene and decide for them.

    In awarding child custody and child support, the court is concerned about what is in the best interests of the child, which parent can provide the most suitable and stable environment and which parent has the ability to provide financial support. There is no favoritism towards awarding custody to the mother or the father. In many situations, fathers are given sole custody, if the court determines that the father is a more suitable parent. It is the overall intent of the court to make sure that the child’s lifestyle is maintained and uninterrupted as little as possible, that the child is living in a safe and secure environment and the child’s day-to-day living needs are met. This often means keeping the child in the family residence where they are accustomed to living or in the same school district nearby their friends and/or close family members, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, whenever possible.

    Common custody situations include: sole, joint legal and joint physical custody.

    In a sole custody situation, one parent may have the physical and legal custody of the child. There is generally a visitation schedule arrangement for the other parent to spend time with the child. This schedule varies depending on where the other parent resides, the parent’s work schedule and the child’s activities and needs. Typically, the other parent will be awarded every other weekend and certain holiday and vacation time, but other arrangements can be made as well. In instances where there has been child abuse or there are other reasons to believe that the child’s safety could be in jeopardy when a parent has a substance abuse or alcohol problem, the court may either deny any visitation or award limited or supervised visitation.

    However, in a majority of divorce situations, there is often joint legal custody or joint physical custody. Joint legal custody means that both parents must make decisions about the child’s health, education, and religious and other activities. In a joint physical custody situation, both parents share physical custody of the child. Arrangements vary. For instance, if parents reside close to each other, one parent may have the child 3 or 4 nights a week, and the other parent the remaining nights. Or one may have the child during the week and the other on weekends.

    The court will make their decisions regarding child custody and support by taking into account a number of factors including the age of the child, the financial situation and education of each parent, whether there are any child or spousal support obligations from a prior marriage, age and health factors of the parents, how far or close the other parent lives from the child, the parents’ work schedules, child care expenses, any special needs that the child may require and whether there is a history of emotional or physical abuse by one spouse towards the other spouse and/or the child.

  13. Are there really any advantages to being the mother or father in earning custody rights? No. In determining parental responsibility or a timeshare schedule, whether a parent is the “mother” or the “father” is not a factor that the trial courts consider. In fact, Florida Statute Section 61.16 specifically states that there is no presumption for or against the father or the mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule. The Court does consider the best interest of the child and Florida Statute Section 61.16 sets forth the specific factors the Court considers in determining the best interest of the child.
    How should parents ensure they put their best face forward in court? Parents involved in litigation regarding parental responsibility or a timeshare schedule must always be reasonable and make efforts to facilitate a relationship between the other parent and the child. In fact, one of the Florida Statute 61.16 factors the Court considers in determining parental responsibility and a timeshare schedule is “the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required”. Another factor the Court considers is the capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation and to refrain from making disparaging comments about the other parent to the child. The Court also considers the ability of each parent to determine, consider and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent. Therefore, a parent that withholds timeshare from the other parent, disparages the other parent, and does not recognize and consider the child’s need to have both parents active in the child’s life will not look good in front of the judge deciding their case.
    What child custody arrangements are most common? Courts award shared parental responsibility unless shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Therefore, in the great majority of the cases, shared parental responsibility is awarded. The specific timeshare schedule is dependent on the facts and circumstances of each particular family. If you have two good involved parents that are capable of meeting the child’s needs and it is geographically viable, then most likely there will be a fifty-fifty timeshare schedule. If for some reason, one parent is not able to care for the child in the evenings, help the child with their school work, etc. that parent’s weekday timeshare may be limited.

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