With over 50% of families torn apart by divorce, the question of child support and child custody is major issues in many families. In most cases, one parent retains custody of one or more of the children, while the other assists with costs of rearing the children by paying child support costs.
Each state determines their own criteria for deciding support amounts. The specific needs of the family and the children involved are usually take into consideration. Some of the expenses that are considered are:
• Childcare expenses
• Heathcare expenses
• Special needs
If you are working and need to pay for daycare, those expenses are usually figured into the support amount. One parent is usually responsible for the healthcare coverage including some for out of pocket medical expenses.
The average child support that is due is around $5,500 per year with the actual paid amount hovering around $3,600 per year. Custodial mothers usually do slightly better with actually collecting on the child support payments than do custodial fathers, getting 47.3% of the amount due. Custodial fathers only receive about 46.2% that is due.
If at all possible, you should work out the custody and child support with your soon to be ex-spouse. If you are simply unable to work together, consult with an experienced divorce attorney to mediate an agreement. You are more prepared to assess the needs of your children and know what you can expect from each other. If the courts decide custody and child support it just prolongs the proceedings and makes matters worse for the children. It is important to establish a set pattern for your new life as quickly as possible.
There are different kinds of custody defined in most states.
• Physical custody
• Legal custody
• Joint custody
• Split custody
Mothers are most often awarded physical custody of the children, unless the father can prove that the mother is unfit. You and your ex-spouse are usually both awarded legal custody, which means that you can make decisions regarding legal matters for your children. Many courts do not like to award joint custody, where children are physically present with each of you in approximately equal parts.
The goal of most courts is to attempt to provide some sort of stability for the children rather than have them shuffled back and forth. Split custody is least desirable as it splits up siblings whom the court feels should be kept together.
Both parents are important in the make up of the family, but the father is often forgotten or nudged aside. A full 37% of fathers have no visitation rights. The father is a very important part in a child's development. While you hear a lot about deadbeat dads, the fact is, most divorced fathers are good about paying child support and spending time. About 79% of fathers feel that they don't have enough time with their children.
Children with no fathers suffer. Kids from fatherless homes account for:
• 63 percent of youth suicides
• 85 percent of children with behavioral disorders
• 71 percent of all high school dropouts
• 85 percent of all youths serving prison time
Just because you don't get along with your spouse, doesn't mean your kids shouldn't. Try to be amiable towards your ex-spouse to promote as stable and nurturing an environment as possible. Both parents are necessary to provide children with the training and love necessary to be able to cope with life as they grow.