Divorce Issue of child support and custody

ABC News reports that after almost two decades together, Chris Rock, 49, and his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, are divorcing. Like all divorcing couples, celebrity couples have to consider the same divorce issues that other divorcing couples must consider: who gets custody of the children, how much will be paid in child support, how the assets will be divided, and which couple will receive spousal support. Although the news of another celebrity divorce is not surprising, the struggle is the same for them as it is for anyone of us who makes this difficult decision.

Number One Divorce Issue: Child Custody

 

Celebrity or not, one of the most contentious divorce issues is who will get the children. In recent years there has been a push by courts and lawyers who are dedicated to making sure fathers have a level playing field when it comes to getting access and custody of their children, but there are only a handful of states such as Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Missouri and Maine who have codified certain steps to ensure gender-equal in the child custody decision-making process.

So how will the courts decide who gets the children? There are several different types of custody of options, but the courts generally have the legal authority to review a variety of factors such as:

  • How involved each parent has been with the child prior to divorce?
  • Whether each parent has the means to support the child?
  • What is the relationship with the child with each parent?
  • What’s the educational level of each parent?
  • Does either parent have a history of violence or drug abuse?
  • Does the child have stronger emotional ties to one or the other parent?
  • What type of extended family relationships exist?
  • Can each parent provide social, moral and emotional support to the child?

Divorce Two Divorce Issue: Child Support

 

The second most contentious divorce issue is child support. Although state laws vary, generally child support obligations will vary based on whether one party has sole custody or whether both parents are awarded joint custody. But like child custody arrangements, the court will consider a variety of factors before making their child support calculations:

  • The financial needs of the child, including educational or daycare costs, medical expenses and medical insurance.
  • The financial resources of each parent.
  • The standard of living the child had prior to the divorce.
  • The obligations of the paying parent to support additional children in a new marriage.

Unfortunately, some divorcing couples do not consider the financial ramifications of a divorce and may find themselves struggling to meet their financial obligations, not realizing that the cost to maintain two living residences can be very expensive. Prior to making any decisions about divorce it is important to review your financial situation and talk to a divorce lawyer for more information about your state’s child support and child custody laws and how they will impact your family.

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