Child Custody & Support
Child Custody and Child Support matters can be emotionally overwhelming. At Family Ally, we believe that the focus should be on the well-being of your children. When parents decide to prioritize the best interests of the child in the divorce process, it ensures that their needs and safety come first.
Child Custody: Putting the Child First
Family Ally believes that regular contact with both parents is generally best for the child’s overall development. In Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, there is an opportunity for you as the parents of the children to discuss how to be involved in your children’s lives on a regular basis. When parents can communicate and resolve differences about their children it creates a better environment for the children to grow up in versus an environment where the child’s parents are constantly arguing.
Understanding Custody Arrangements
Child custody arrangements come in various forms under Missouri state law. Having a clear understanding of your options can lead to more informed decisions about your child’s future. Custody in St. Louis is divided into physical and legal custody.
Physical custody refers to the time the child spends under the care of each parent, while legal custody involves decision-making authority regarding the child’s upbringing, such as medical decisions and education choices. suitable for your family’s unique circumstances.
Child Support: Ensuring Financial Stability
Child support is grounded in the principle that you and your spouse are responsible for financially supporting your children. It involves regular payments from one parent to the other to cover the costs of raising your children and maintaining a consistent standard of living.
Calculating a Parent’s Financial Obligation
In St. Louis, child support calculations are typically based on the Form 14, which takes into account parental incomes, the number of children needing support, healthcare costs, spousal maintenance (if applicable), the parenting time allocated to each party and the existing custody arrangement.
Modifications and Enforcement
Whether you’re paying or receiving child support, a substantial and continuing change in circumstances can warrant a modification. This could include job loss, increased child-related expenses, or a parent’s relocation. Our experienced team can assist in making changes to support orders based on significant life changes.
When it comes to enforcing court orders, it’s often more complicated than just obtaining the order. Collecting child support can be challenging, but our advocates can help navigate this process. We can help with legal actions such as filing for contempt, wage withholdings, or contacting the appropriate enforcement agencies.
Establishing paternity is sometimes necessary in child support cases, particularly when unmarried parents are involved. St. Louis provides various methods to establish paternity or maternity, including signing an affidavit after the child’s birth or obtaining a court order. In some cases, DNA testing might be involved.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Attorney Today
Child custody and support matters are complex, as they directly impact your children’s well-being. Calculating child support, navigating modifications, and ensuring enforcement can be challenging tasks. At Family Ally, we are here to help you make informed decisions and guide you through the legal process.