Issues involving children are among the most vital issues within the realm of family law. How divorcing couples and the courts determine such issues as child custody and child support will go a long way in determining the well-being of the children in question moving forward. With such vital issues to be determined, it is important to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side in order to enforce and protect your parental rights. If you're facing issues of child custody and/or support, the Arizona-based law firm of McGuire Gardner P.L.L.C. invites you to sit down with their experienced divorce lawyers and discuss the specifics of your case.
The concept of child custody involves two concepts, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to decision making in respect to decisions impacting the child, while physical custody determines parenting time. Should a parent be awarded sole custody of a child, then that parent will be responsible for all decision-making. When the court awards joint custody, decision-making is shared by both parents.
Visitation is important in that it ensures that the parent who does not have physical custody still receives time with his/her child. Courts generally work to ensure that both parents are present in the lives of a child, though there may be extenuating circumstances that prohibit this. Such circumstances may include domestic violence or drug use, and in such cases a court may require that visitation be supervised by another adult.
Child support is another issue determined by the courts. While both parents share in the support of a child, the non-custodial parent will be required to pay child support. The amount of child support will be calculated according to a number of factors, which include income, child care costs, insurance costs, special needs, age of the child, etc.
It's important to note also that child custody and child support issues are fluid, and can be modified according to changes in circumstances. The loss of a job or insurance or an increase or decrease in pay can be determining factors.
With so much at stake regarding the well-being of your child and your parental rights, your first step should be to find and consult with a qualified family lawyer. In doing so you can move toward a fair and equitable result for all parties involved.