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Divorce- Children Issues

Divorce brings with it a host of issues. Child-related issues are the most sensitive and prominent ones. Children are the most vulnerable of the parties involved in a divorce proceeding. They become the accidental victims of the bitter war of their parents over issues like child visitation rights, child custody and child support. To safeguard the interests of children, child custody and child support laws are devised. However a through knowledge of the laws applicable to child custody and child support will prepare you to face such issues.

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Each state of USA has different laws for child custody and child support. A divorce attorney (divorce lawyer) in your state will analyze your case and help you with answers for your quarries regarding these issues.

Child Custody

Child custody refers to the physical and legal charge of the child. Divorce laws of each state have following laws regarding the child custody issue:

Physical Custody:

Physical custody of the child stands for the right to live with the child and provide a home for him/her.

Legal Custody:

Legal custody of the child refers to the clause of child custody in which a parent is given rights to make decisions of religion, education, health etc., for the child. One parent may be having the physical custody of the child without having the legal custody. However child custody laws allow the child to visit the parent who is his/her legal custodian by using his visitation rights.

Joint Legal Custody:

Child custody-Joint Legal Custody refers to granting legal custody rights to both the parents to make decision about the education, health, religion and other matter for their children. However the physical custody of child remains with one parent only.

Joint Physical Custody:

This child custody article refers to granting physical custody rights to both of the parents. In this case, ideally, the length of stay at each parent’s house is split equally 50:50 and the parents are also required to live in close proximities so as not to affect the child’s schooling.

Child Support

According to the divorce laws, child support is the monetary contribution given to the parent who holds physical custody of the child by the non-custodial parent. The child support contribution helps to meet the expenses incurred on the education and up-brining of the child and is solely used for the child’s benefits. Any other use of child support is illegal.

Child support law is governed individually by each state.  Usually the amount of child support is calculated keeping in mind the income levels of both parents and the expenses associated with the up-brining of the child.

Child support enforcement is done by court and under no circumstances can this be discontinued under any pretext. Court ends enforcement of child support, when the child reaches the age of maturity, joins military or gets married.

Parents cannot by themselves modify child custody or child support under a private agreement. According to the divorce laws, this only happens when the custodial parents re-marry and privately confers with the non custodial parent.

Persons seeking modification in the decrees of child custody and child support must wait till such modifications have been ordered by the court. Until modifications in child custody and child support decree has been ordered, previous judgment will remain in force.


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