Welcome Baby to the World!

Divorce

Factors That May Influence Child Custody Decisions

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Child Custody, Divorce | 0 comments

Divorce is a legal nightmare. You have to navigate through laws concerning alimony, division of assets, and division of liabilities. But it gets worse if there are children involved, because you have additional laws to navigate through, such as those relating to child custody and child support.

A child custody lawsuit is always the most emotional in the family court. This is because either parent wants to get custody. Whether the child goes to the mother or father, it doesn’t change the fact that there will be major changes in their lives.

But how is child custody decided? There are certain factors that need to be considered.

Earning Capacity

There may be a lot of factors that may influence child custody, but they boil down on the same core idea – it is for the best interest of the child. To determine best interest, each parent’s ability to provide for the child is considered, and this generally means each parent’s financial stability to give the child food, shelter, education, healthcare, and security.

Medical Condition

The physical and mental conditioning of each parent is also considered, because these things can negatively affect the child. Those with physical and mental conditions, such as illnesses and anger management issues, may have a harder time fulfilling parental obligations and may even hurt the child in the long run, so they are less likely to get custody.

Relationship with Child

It is not always about money and health. Sometimes, it is about who is closer to the child and who is doing more for the child, such as on the following domestic aspects:

  • Bonding with the child, like participating in recreational activities
  • Handling the hygiene needs of the child, like giving him a bath and changing his diaper
  • Handling the medical needs of the child, like taking him to the dentist and doctor
  • Handling the nutritional needs of the child, like preparing him meals and packing him lunches for school

Child’s Choice

A child, especially one that is already rational enough, may have a voice regarding custody. However, his choice does not top the other entries in this list, because the best interest of the child is still the absolute criteria for child custody. But in the right conditions, the child’s choice is definitely considered in the decision process in child custody.

Read More

Making sense of child support: What is it? Under what circumstances/why does someone pay it? Common misconceptions?

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Divorce | 0 comments

Once child custody has been arranged, the judge may determine whether or not one of the parents needs to provide financial support to the primary custodial parent. According to the website of Houston law firm Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, child support is a fixed figure determined by the courts that one party must pay to the other on a set schedule (usually monthly). Child support agreements are legally binding, and repeated failure on the part of the provider to pay on time is a felony.

Child support depends on a variety of factors, namely the income and benefits of the primary custodial parent and his or her demonstrated financial need. When the court decides the cost of supporting a child, they can then determine the financial fitness of each parent to pay their share of the cost. Essentially, if one parent is lacking, the other will pick up the slack.

There are many common misconceptions of child support and the reality of how it is paid, used, and nullified. Here are some of the hard facts:

Custody arrangements don’t play a large part in determining child support. No matter how long or how often a parent sees their child(ren), he or she is still responsible for half of the cost of raising said child.
The child support provider has no legal right to know how their money is used. Child support can be used on things directly related to the child–such as food, clothing, and haircuts–or expenses for the child(ren)’s home–such as rent, utilities, insurance, etc.

Because outstanding child support payments are considered a debt, they can affect credit score ratings. Child support, even more so than credit card debt, must be paid in full at the frequency determined by the court. Besides being a criminal offence, missing child support payments also affects how reliable a parent can appear to financial institution.

However, this particular debt cannot be escaped by filing bankruptcy. Unlike other forms of debt, child support debts cannot be swept under the rug by filing for bankruptcy. Child support is considered a priority debt by the court and, in accordance with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cannot be eliminated.

Read More