The information contained herein is general in nature and not meant to provide specific outcomes for any particular case.
Ending a marriage or relationship can have an adverse effect on the children. Couples with children going through divorce are required to attend a parenting seminar to understand the impact on the children.
If both parents are healthy, both mentally and physically, the courts would prefer to order shared parenting. Shared parenting simply means that both parents will make joint decisions with regard to medical care, educational needs, religion and extracurricular activities. Neither party has any more power over the other when it comes to the children.
In some instances, where the parents can't get along at all, or when one lives out of state, it may become impractical to order shared parenting. In that instance, one parent will be designated the residential parent/legal custodian of the children which means that parent makes all the decisions regarding the list above and then some. Each case is different and the facts of each case will affect the outcome.
Click here for a list of factors the courts consider in rendering a decision regarding custody »
Each county has their own set of local rules for parenting time. If your county has a court website, you can find the local parenting default schedule there.
Below are several county parenting schedules by County:
Make sure you review the one applicable to your case/county. If your case is new to these proceedings, it would be the most recently revised parenting schedule. If you were divorced some time ago, it would be the set applicable at the time your divorce decree was filed unless otherwise requested.
You should print out the set applicable to your case and read it thoroughly, underlining those portions that particularly apply to your situation which will change as your children age. Again, these are recommendations. The court would prefer that the parents come to an agreement as to visitation, depending upon their work schedules and the best interest of the children. The local rules will also provide ideas with regard to dividing holidays, summers, days of special meaning, and recommendations for transporting the children to the receiving parent.
Child support is calculated by a computer program. Specific information, such as income from any source, number of children you have together, number of children that you have custody from another relationship/marriage, health care costs and work related child care are the main criterion in computing the child support figures.
There are factors that allow a couple to deviate up or down from the amount calculated if justified. In almost all cases, child support must be paid through the Child Support Enforcement Agency unless otherwise specified by Court Order (i.e., financial contributions in lieu of child support with Findings of Fact to support same).