Going through a divorce often isn’t smooth sailing. It can be an extremely stressful time in your life. It can get very complex and emotionally, especially with your kids involved. If you’ve never gone through it before you may not know how child custody or child support works. Legal custody is where the parent has the right to make important long term decisions for the child(ren) such as their education. Physical custody is where the child(ren) will live. It’s important to know the main categories of child custody as well as how the court determines child support.

Main Categories of Child Custody

Sole custody is where, one parent has both physical and legal custody over the child(ren). The child(ren)’s permanent address is at their house and they solely make decisions for the child(ren). The non-custodial parent is awarded visitation. Split custody is typically used when there is more than one child involved. Each parent will gets sole physical custody of one or more of the children. Legal custody may be shared or split between the parents. Joint legal and joint physical custody is most common and it’s where the parents share the physical and legal custody of the child(ren). It typically is when the parents live in the same general area. Joint legal and sole physical custody is where children will live with one parent full time and the other parent will get visitation rights. Both parents will have legal custody and make decisions together about the child(ren). This form of custody is typically used when parents don’t live in the same general area.

How does the court determine child support?

The non-custodial parent pays child support to the parent child custody. The court determines child support based mainly on income and the number of children involved. It’s important to know that the state of Utah law establishes guidelines when determining child support. These guidelines include base child support, child care expenses, and medical expenses. Child care expenses may include things such as daycare. Medical expenses include would be the costs of taking the child(ren) to the doctor when they are sick or if they may have a long term medical condition. The court determines the total support obligation for the child(ren) which is determined by the parents income.

Divorce can be an extremely stressful time in your life. With your children involved, there’s even more stress added on.You’re going to have to deal with your former spouse until your children are no longer minors. It’s important to now how child support and child custody is determined. You need someone who is an expert in child custody and child support cases. You need someone who will actually listen to your needs and concerns so that you don’t get the short end of the stick. Your children deserve the best. Salt Lake City lawyer Christopher M. Ault at The Ault Firm is available to help protect your rights and the welfare of your child(ren). Contact him at 801-539-9000 for a consultation or fill out this form.