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Currently Browsing: Child Custody

Handling Child Support Payments

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Divorce is something that is never easy, especially for couples who have children. On top of the two people who are getting divorced, they must also contend with the feelings of their entire family. This is a balancing act that must be done right to ensure the health and well-being of the family as a unit, as well as that of the child.

One thing that doesn’t make any part of the divorce process any easier is child support. When making the arrangements to pay and receive child support, a lot of parents struggle to find the right amount of money to settle for.

On one hand, the child deserves the best life possible. But on the other hand, the parent who is making the payments must also be able to support themselves.

Changes after the initial agreement

There are two main issues that can arise after the original papers are signed. These involve modifying the original child support agreement and enforcing the agreement. Both enforcing the agreement and making changes to it are vital steps in maintaining a happy and healthy child.

When considering either of these factors, it’s no wonder so many parents stress out about child support! This is a difficult situation for anyone to be in, so it’s optimal to have a lawyer who can help the family find their footing.

A child’s changing lifestyle

Changes to the original financial agreement can – and should – occur throughout the child’s life. As the child grows up, their needs change and these changes need to be accounted for financially. As such, it’s a good idea to be flexible with child support payments and to prepare for any changes that could potentially occur.

A reduction or loss of wages

In addition to the needs of the child changing, the abilities of the paying parent may change over time. Injury, unemployment, or declining health are all factors that can make it difficult for a parent to make the originally agreed-upon payment. While this is not an ideal scenario for anyone involved, the parent who is making the child support payment should be able to get back on their feet during times of financial instability.

Evading payment

Aside from this, there is also the issue of nonpayment. A parent may be unable to make payments on time or maybe intentionally avoiding making them. For whatever reason, this lack of payment places an undue burden on the other parent, who may struggle to support the child on their own.

Everyone knows that it’s a good idea to meet with a lawyer to settle upon the initial child support agreement, but not a lot of people consider the upkeep associated with such an agreement.

Maintaining communication with a child support lawyer like the lawyers at Alexander & Associates helps to make the process of amending the original agreement less painful. At the very least, it can help smooth any subtle issues over before they snowball into a big problem.

Child Custody in Iowa: Legal Custody and Physical Care

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Divorce is undoubtedly a challenging process. Couples who decided to end their marriage have to make plenty of decisions on top of dealing with the emotionally tense situation they are already dealing with. These considerations become even more difficult for couples who have children. Among such considerations is being able to agree on a child custody arrangement.

In Iowa, there are two general types of child custody arrangement. Divorcing parents can choose between legal custody and physical care or custody. They can come to an agreement about their child care arrangement on their own, or take the case to a judge if they are unable to come to an amicable agreement.

In the first option, parents with legal custody of a child earn the right to make decisions about important matters in the life of minor children. A parent with legal custody can decide on a child’s education, health care plan, and other crucial necessities and set ups. Divorcing parents can be granted joint legal custody—meaning that both spouses retain their legal right to make parental decisions—or sole legal custody. The latter option is usually applicable to situations involving domestic violence or abuse, where continuing contact with the other parent can be harmful for the child.

On the other hand, through a physical care or physical custody arrangement, the court names one parent as solely responsible for primary physical care. This means the child will be living with one parent for majority of the time, while the other parent gets visitation rights. Physical custody is typically awarded to the parent considered to be the primary caretaker during the marriage. There are also instances when a judge rules for a joint physical custody arrangement and allows both parents equal amounts of time with their children. This decision will depend on a few factors, including the parents’ ability to be cordial and respectful of each other.

Divorcing parents have plenty to consider as they go through the end of their marriage. Sometimes, these considerations involve difficult decisions that are best left to the court. In cases of child custody disagreements, Iowa residents can ease the process and learn more about their legal options by contacting a divorce lawyer in Cedar Rapids.

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