When two people decide to divorce, one of the most difficult issues to settle is custody. You may be surprised, however, that children are not the only problem associated with custody in divorce proceedings. Dogs, cats, turtles, and birds have all been subjects of long legal court battles. When it comes to anything two people can love, they may want to seek custody – especially their child.
Deciding where the child will live, what school they will attend, and who is best suited to handle the child each day can be a difficult decision. The last thing a parent wants to do while going through a divorce is admit he or she may not be the best option for physical custody of a child he or she loves beyond measure.
The parent making social, legal, and medical decisions for the child is said to have legal custody. Difficulties can quickly arise when a family law attorney Columbia MD gets involved because parents cannot agree on issues such as braces, dance classes, or a $200 pair of sneakers. When agreements cannot be reached, the issues may need to be determined by a judge.
The custodial parent often asks for, and receives, support for the child from the non-custodial parent. If the parents provide equal care for the child in a 50 percent custody division, support may still be awarded if one of the parents has a significantly higher income than the other.
Sometimes referred to as alimony, spousal support can be awarded for many reasons, but often the sole purpose of the support is to allow both parents to live near one another for the benefit of the child. If housing costs are prohibitive, support can be granted to equal out the financial burden.
Custody can be difficult to determine when both parents want legal and physical guardianship. When the court needs to, it can intervene and make the decision – which often leaves both parties unhappy.