Child Custody & Child Support

Child Custody & Child Support Archives

Protecting your children from your post-divorce frustrations

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in blog on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Children often understand more than adults give them credit for. When young, their vocabulary may be limited, but research has established that children can pick up a great deal of information from body language and tone. Simply put, it can be difficult for parents to keep secrets from their kids. You may know this; indeed you may have experienced it when you and your spouse decided to divorce. Discussions and disagreements you'd wanted to conceal were, instead, somewhat plain to your kids. At the very least, they knew 'something was up.' The tendency to conceal discord arises from a good place. Namely, you want to spare your children from the pain of seeing their parents fight. But when they're left to figure out things on their own, the pain children experience becomes all the more exquisite. Instead of speaking about it, they feel they must keep their suffering secret, too. What this dynamic underscores is how difficult it can be to protect children's interests during divorce. Efforts to protect have, instead, the opposite effect. And so, with this article, we would like to share some ways to keep your children's feelings proactively front-and-center. Children at the heart of the matter Although you and your former spouse have gone separate ways, your children continue to bind you to each other. Still, you may try to avoid your ex, even where it concerns the children. The exigencies of visitation and custody may make this a challenge, and many parents resort to coping methods that unfairly burden their children; for example: Making your child a messenger between you and your spouse Changing parenting schedules at the last minute Choosing the least convenient options for your ex Bashing your [...]

You may need to rethink what you know about child custody

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in blog on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. California parents often find it difficult to decide to file for divorce. Although the move may be for the best, many couples are understandably worried about how the split will affect their children. Indeed, when parents do part ways, resolving issues concerning child custody usually figures as one of their top priorities. It is no secret that a divorce will have a pronounced impact on any children involved. Research indicates that children of divorce are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than their peers, and are prone to acting out in the months following their parents' break-up. But emerging studies suggest that there are steps parents can take to minimize the incidence of such outcomes. The science is in: 50/50 custody may be best New research that focused on preschool-aged children indicates that joint custody is less emotionally stressful than other custody options. The study involved 3,656 children of divorced parents, all of whom were aged three to five years old. Researchers found that, after a divorce, children who were able to alternate living with their parents exhibited fewer behavioral and psychological problems than their peers who were part of sole custody arrangements. The joint custody children spent approximately the same amount of time with each parent at their respective homes. Past research agrees Many of the previous studies on 50/50 custody focused on older children, mostly adolescents and school-aged kids. While these studies demonstrate that older children greatly benefit when their parents share physical custody, researchers did not believe that the results could translate to young children. Experts presumed that preschool-aged children would require higher levels of stability and continuity than older kids. However, this more recent study seems to suggest that children excel [...]

How seriously do courts view delinquent child support?

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in Child Custody & Child Support on Monday, July 31, 2017. If you are the recipient or the payer of court ordered child support, you have already been through some sort of court proceeding that outlined each party's responsibilities when it comes to the financial aspect of raising your child. Child support payments are unique to each family in Santa Rosa and are essentially custom-designed arrangements built to fit the family it affects. There are several factors that go into deciding a child support arrangement; this way it best fits the needs of each family. If there are delinquent child support payments, how does the court view that behavior? Courts take late child support payments very seriously. Although not the only factor in a child's upbringing, financial support from both parents is crucial to ensuring that the child has what they need to mature and grow in a healthy environment. Certain children may have more needs than others, like medical issues or enrollment in gifted child classes that make it especially important for them to receive the financial support they need. However, the financial support of both parents is a right that every child should have access to. When child support payments become delinquent, there are several things that could happen. If circumstances have changed, one can petition the court to adjust the child support arrangement. However, that won't usually alter the need of one parent to pay their back-owed child support. Wage garnishment is one possible consequence of back-owed child support, and seeking that outcome can be sought by the parent who has primary physical custody and is back-owed child support payments. While the parents deal with the financial aspects of child support, the child is really the one who will suffer if [...]

When it comes to child custody, who becomes the custodial parent?

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in Child Custody & Child Support on Saturday, September 2, 2017. If you and your child's parent are no longer together, or are going through a divorce, your first instinct is your child and how the change will affect him or her. While there is no doubt that it can be a challenging time, it doesn't need to be a high stress situation. However, truthfully, every person's child custody scenario is different, it's hard to say how a change will affect each family individually. Many parents wonder how a child custody decision will affect their child. As child custody agreements are designed with the best interests of the child in mind, it's difficult to know exactly the impact the change can have. However, know that the ultimate custody decision is made with a focus on the child's best interests and within reasonable perimeters. Every family is different, some parents may want to split custody fairly evenly, while others would prefer that one parent do the majority of the child rearing. If one parent is the primary custodial parent they often are responsible for the everyday child-rearing and daily decisions. Oftentimes this will require child support from the non-primary custodial parent, among other things. Even if a child's custody situation isn't as positive, that being, one parent may not have custody rights at all, child support may well be in order. A parent is expected to support their child in a variety of ways, even if they are no longer living together full-time. At Challoner Law, we know how personal circumstances can affect the child custody arrangement and that you want the best for your child. That's why we work so hard to ensure that a child custody arrangement is the best it can be. [...]

Relocation of a child in a custody agreement

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in Child Custody & Child Support on Friday, September 15, 2017. Many parents have made the choice to be a great parent to their child, but do it from a separate household that their child's other parent. There can be many reasons a cohabitating relationship with a child's other parent doesn't work out, but that doesn't and won't stop parents from having a great relationship with their kids. If co-parents have a child custody arrangement (and most of them do!) they have to reference and abide by that agreement before making any big decisions. Big decisions, like moving your child out of a certain area, usually have to be approved by the child custody agreement. This is to ensure that the move is, first and foremost, in the best interests of the child but for other reasons too. If a child were to move a significant distance from their other parent, how would that affect the custody agreement? It could impact how easily or how often the other parent could interact with the child and could impact the quality of their relationship. It could also change the cost of living for that child, say if a parent wants to move from the midwest to California, the cost of living would be different and could affect child support numbers. In short, there is a lot to think about if thinking about moving a child a significant distance from their current child custody arrangement. It impacts multiple parties and since they each have their own specific viewpoint their could be disagreements about how to proceed. It is possible to tweak, or modify, the child custody arrangement to reflect a change of this magnitude. It just depends what a family would like to do and how they [...]

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