Child Custody & Support
Child Custody is a legal term which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parent’s duty to care for the child. In the case of divorce, generally, the court having jurisdiction of the divorce proceedings also determines who shall have custody of children from the marriage. The parents of a child born within a marriage both have equal custody rights to the child and it is up to the court, which is normally the state court (as in most family matters), that determines the outcome.
Child Support refers to the sum that the noncustodial parent must pay to the custodian. This sum serves as a parental contribution for the child’s basic living expenses, such as food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education. Child support is determined by two factors: the needs of the child or children and the parent’s ability to pay. The amount of child support, whether agreed to by the parties or ordered by a judge, can be modified as the child’s needs or parent’s ability to pay change.
A skilled New York Divorce / Family law attorney can be exceptionally helpful in these areas.