Child Custody vs. Child Support

September 10, 2018 — by John Conger
Tags: Child Custody Child Support Divorce Legal Separation Family Law

A mother and her childThe lawyers of Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP always seek fairness when it comes to family law mattes, particularly when children are involved. When discussing child support, custody, and visitation issues with clients, we want to provide information that is helpful but also realistic with regard to their situation. It’s this emphasis on honesty that makes us a leading Stockton, CA law firm for people undergoing a divorce or legal separation.

Many of our clients have questions about child custody and child support. We want to go over some of the basics below. If you have additional questions, our team will be more than happy to speak with you and provide insight into your options.

About Child Custody

Child custody refers to determining which parent maintain primary custody of the chid/children after a divorce or separation. This can be determined between a couple or by the court itself depending on the nature of the relationship and what is in the best interests of the child.

Types of Child Custody

There are different types of child custody between parents.

  • Physical Custody - Physical custody means that a parent earns the right to have their child/children live predominantly with them.
  • Legal Custody - Legal custody refers to thew ability for a parent to make decisions about their child’s upbringing, which includes schooling, medical care, religious upbringing, and so forth.
  • Joint Custody - Also known as shared custody, joint custody refers to cases in which a couple that is no longer cohabitation shares their duties in raising their children after a divorce or separation. Joint custody may apply to either/both physical or legal custody.
  • Sole Custody - Sole custody refers to cases in which a parent has both physical and legal custody of a child, while the other parent is not entitled to either.

Determining Child Custody

As noted above, the nature of your relationship will determine the type of custody that its awarded. We must stress again that the best interests of the child are always the utmost concerns in child custody cases. If there is a risk of a child being endangered by one parent or a parent being more fit to raise the child than the other, the court will always keep that in mind when awarding custody.

What About Child Visitation?

Child visitation can be negotiated and scheduled based on child custody agreements. Again, the best interests of the child will determine an ideal schedule. Amicable divorces and separations tend to involve equal visitation.

About Child Support

Child support is intended to make sure the needs of a child/the children in a marriage are looked after. In this case, one parent will be responsible for making payments to the former spouse to assist in childcare costs. This includes the cost of education, day care, medical expenses, special needs, and so forth.

Determining Child Support

Generally, the amount paid in child support is determine by the income levels of each parent, the child custody arrangements between the parents, and the child’s/children’s standard of living at the time of divorce or separation.

The amount paid in child support can be adjusted based on a parent’s earning ability and other circumstances, though that will be up to the court to decide.

Contact Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP

For more information about child custody, child support, and other issues related to your children during a divorce or legal separation, be sure to contact the family law attorneys at our firm. The team at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP is here to help you in your time of legal need. You can also reach our law firm by phone at (209) 477-8171.