In nearly every family law case in which children were born or adopted, the most contentious issue tends to be custody.
There are two types of custody of minor children: physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody refers to where the child stays overnight. Any arrangement where the minor child stays with both parents at least 111 overnights is considered joint physical custody. The parent with whom the child stays the majority of overnights is considered the primary physical custodian.
Any arrangement where the child stays with one parent 110 overnights or less is considered sole physical custody, with the parent who has the least number of overnights being named as the noncustodial parent.
Because child support is directly related to the number of overnights the child spends with each parent, joint physical custody can impact the amount of child support owed for the child. However, the difference in child support between 110 overnights (sole physical custody) and 111 overnights (joint physical custody) is minimal. A free child support calculator can be found at: http://www.utcourts.gov/childsupport/calculator.
Legal custody refers to decision making regarding the child. Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to give input regarding issues related to the child. Sole legal custody means one parent has the authority to make decisions regarding the minor child without seeking input from the other parent.
Joint legal custody has no impact on the amount of child support owed.
If you have questions regarding child custody, please contact Ms. Warner for a free thirty minute consultation.