Understanding Child Custody And Child Support
Child custody and child support are perhaps the two most stressful issues in many divorces. Our children mean the world to us, and the thought of losing any access to our kids is difficult, to say the least.
Courts are required to make custody decisions in the best interests of children. And thankfully, that usually means keeping both parents involved when both are deemed fit. When one parent is unfit or when shared custody would not be in the best interest of the child, sole custody may be awarded to the other parent.
How Are Decisions Made?
Child custody is determined by a judge (when contested) or by mutual agreement between parents. Negotiated custody tends to give both parents the most control over the outcome. But if they cannot agree on terms, a judge will make the determination after considering all relevant factors.
It is also important to know that there are temporary custody orders (those that apply before the divorce is finalized) and permanent orders (post-divorce). In Kentucky, the law now states that temporary custody orders will start with a presumption of joint custody, also called shared parenting. There is no such presumption in Ohio, but temporary orders do seek to maintain the status quo while the divorce process plays out.
How Does Child Support Work?
In both Kentucky and Ohio, child support is calculated using a formula that accounts for a wide variety of financial and circumstantial factors. While custody decisions will often have an effect on the amount of child support a parent is required to pay, this should not be a primary consideration for either parent when seeking child custody.
In all cases, the calculated amount of support is presumed to be correct and appropriate unless either party’s lawyer files a petition seeking a higher or lower amount.
Protecting You And Your Child’s Best Interests
Here at Bouldin Law Firm in Covington, we know the stakes are high for you and your family. We have over 20 years of experience working with clients in Northern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio. Our firm is ready to help resolve your family disputes. Call us at Bouldin Law Firm. You can also reach us via email.