Helping Families Find Child Support And Custody Solutions
If you are going through a divorce, legal separation or annulment and have children, you will want to create a comprehensive parenting plan that outlines financial and emotional support for your children. Without a comprehensive plan, you are likely to be back in court. Attorney Kara S. Holtz has significant experience to provide you a proper and comprehensive parenting plan to suit your family’s needs. Proper preparation for child support and custody helps families steer clear from conflict. Holtz Law works closely with families to create agreements that focus on the best interests of the children involved.
What You Need To Know About Child Support
Parents are equally responsible for financially supporting their children, by law. This responsibility continues despite parents separating, with either one or both parents paying child support (monthly payment court orders for the children’s living expenses).
However, contrary to what some may think, child support does not begin as soon as the separation becomes official. It takes one parent to ask the court for a child support order, as well as an establishment of parentage.
Some types of cases where a parent asks for an order of support includes:
- Domestic violence
- Restraining orders
Using state guidelines, the judge signs a child support order parents must adhere to. Support orders often go hand-in-hand with custody and visitation agreements. Of course, the original order can change due to changing circumstances.
What You Need To Know About Child Custody
There are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody outlines who the children will physically stay with. Physical custody can either be joint or shared.
Legal custody outlines who makes decisions for the children’s well-being (e.g., health, education, etc.). Again, like with physical custody, legal custody can also either be joint or shared custody.
Joint Custody And Other Assumptions
Even when physical custody is 100% joint, it does not mean children spend exactly half of their time with one parent and exactly half of the time with the other parent because the division of time will not be reasonably exact.
Another assumption some parents may make is, since many times the judge will also provide a child support order along with the child custody order that the two are not mutually exclusive. If the parent responsible for paying child support does not pay, the other parent may believe they are legally capable of restricting him or her from seeing the child.
This will only lead to a confusion and possibly even legal ramifications. Please know that even if the parent is not paying child support as ordered, he or she can still see the child as instructed by the child custody order.
Parenting Time: The Ins And Outs
In the case that there is not joint custody, the other parent has visitation, otherwise known as parenting time. As you may know, there are several types of visitation:
- Visitation according to schedule: Parents have a schedule of when visitation occurs to minimize any arguing.
- Reasonable visitation: Unlike visitation according to schedule, reasonable schedule is not as detailed. Days to visit are more casually created.
- Supervised visitation: The parent may visit the child although always supervised.
- No supervision: The parent is not legally allowed visitation rights. The court makes this decision determining that it is in the best interest of the child’s emotional and physical well-being.
Post-Judgment Modification Of Orders
Child custody and support orders can change based on changing circumstances. For a change to occur, one parent must file a modification order.
A modification of support orders can happen for a number of reasons:
- Parent loses his/her job
- Parent goes to jail or prison
- Child or children spend more or less time with a parent
- Child’s or children’s needs (i.e. health care, child care, education) increase or decrease
- Parent has another child from a separate relationship
Many of these changes can be reflected in custody and visitation orders as well.
One mistake parents can make is assume that, after filing the motion for a new order, the original order is now ineffective. This is a false assumption and can cause much confusion. Until the judge signs the new order, the original order is still legally binding and parents must continue to adhere to the prevailing order.
Work With An Experienced Child Custody And Support Attorney
Navigating the ins and outs of child custody is complicated, to say the least. For legal support in Northern California, for the Bay Area counties, contact Kara S. Holtz, experienced child custody attorney. You may also call Holtz Law at 415-650-5506.