There are two main custody decisions when deciding child custody. These include physical and legal custody. Physical custody decides where the child will spend more time living per week. This parent will then be known as the custodial parent. They will have more time with their child on a weekly basis since the child will reside with them most of the time. However, the other party may have consistent access to the child and nights of their own where the child can stay with them in their home. The best of cases have shown parents working together to accommodate the child’s interests in any way possible. They also can work together to make sure that they are both receiving the time they need with their child to maintain a healthy relationship.
Legal custody allows parents the authority to make important decisions in a child’s life. These decisions can be related to matters of health, education, religion and general welfare of the child. A parent may lose physical custody, but still be able to obtain legal custody. Even if a parent loses physical custody of a child, they may be entitled to visitation rights and parenting time. Factors that can affect child custody decisions can include the parent’s inclination to accept custody, the child’s safety, the child’s needs, any domestic abuse in the past, the distance between the parents’ homes, the relationship the child has with each parent, the preference the child has when of a sufficient age, the stability of each home life and the ability of the parent to act in the child’s best interests.
How is parenting time involved in child support decisions?
When considering the child’s support structure, the court takes into account the parenting time that the child experiences from each parent. This can have a huge impact on their decision. For instance, if a child lives with one parent a majority of the time, this can affect the structure they decide for the child support. Also, if the child has special needs, the court may raise the cost of the child support to fit the higher cost of taking care of the child’s everyday needs.
If parents are able to agree to a shared parenting style, they will need to demonstrate the responsibilities of each parent. Shared parenting is when a child spends 2 or more nights a week or 104 nights per year with the non-custodial parent. This can be a difficult process to maintain since both parents would have to cooperate amicably.
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