When clients approach our firm with a child custody and visitation matter, we try our best to encourage them to resolve all issues by keeping in mind the best interest of the child. In custody and visitation, we require the parties to be reasonable. Any and all negative conflicts between the parents directly affect the child. The child is the most important person and the main focus is determining what is in the "best interest of the child". Child custody and visitation are the most emotional and complex matters where the child suffers the most. Either party may have custody of and visitation with the child. In such matters, our firm seeks to minimized the impact this may have on the child, while designing a custody and visitation plan that is best for all involved.
There are 2 types of custody involving children. They are legal and physical custody. Legal Custody deals with parents making decisions regarding the health, safety and welfare of the child. In joint legal custody, the parents will share in the decision making. If one parent has sole legal custody, then that parent will make all the decisions regarding the child.
Physical Custody deals with who the child actually resides with. The child may live primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other. The child may spend an equal amount of time with both parents, resulting in joint physical custody. Based upon the time that the child spends with each respective parent, a set scheduled Parenting Plan will be established for the parties.
Child Support is determined once custody and visitation has been established. Child Support is the amount of monthly contribution that one parent must pay to the other parent to help to provide for the financial needs of the child. The court will usually apply the "guideline" support calculations to determine the amount of support. Child Support is payable until the child emancipates, attain the age of 18, or 19 if the child is still a senior in high school.