A. Joint custody can mean several things in different states.
Ordinarily, physical custody of a child is awarded to one or the other of the
parents. The non-custodial parent will usually have rights of visitation.
A. Normally, parents will decide as to who will have child custody
before the divorce is filed. When the courts are called upon to make a decision
they will universally apply the best interests of the child test.
A. Ordinarily, a discrete affair will not constitute sufficient grounds for a change of custody. However, if the custodial parents extramarital sexual relationship has placed the child in an embarrassing situation, causes stress or otherwise harms the child, custody may be revisited.
A. Normally the court will award visitation to the non-custodial parent. Visitation may be
reduced or denied where there is substantial evidence that such visitation will
be harmful to the child. An abusive parent, or one who has been abusive in the
past, may be denied visitation subject to psychological treatment, counseling,
or evidence of rehabilitation. Limits may be placed on visitation.
A. Child support must be paid until the child is 18 years old and may continue into adulthood if the child is disabled or if there is a provision for extended child support in a marital settlement agreement. Should the child become emancipated, child support will ordinarily terminate.
A. Federal law requires that a child must be provided with medical insurance
as long as the child support obligation remains in effect. Which parent will be
needed to pay for medical insurance can be decided between the parties; absent an agreement, the court will make a determination.
A. The parental permitted to pay child support arises by virtue of paternity or maternity rather than marriage. An unmarried parent may bring an action to establish paternity.
high-level blood testing will determine whether a party is actually the father of a child.