Child Custody Battles and Child Support Obligations: An Exploration
Child custody battles can be some of the most emotionally taxing and draining experiences that a family can endure. When a couple decides to divorce or separate, one of the most pressing concerns they face is the future of their children.
Many parents are willing to do whatever it takes to secure custody of their children, but the question arises: do people fight for child custody to avoid paying child support?
The Relationship between Child Custody and Child Support
Child custody and child support are two separate but interrelated issues in family law. Child custody is the legal term used to describe the relationship between a parent and their child, and it is determined by a family court of law.
Child support, on the other hand, refers to the financial obligation of one parent to provide financial assistance to the other parent for the care and upbringing of their children.
It is true that some parents may use the child custody process as a means of avoiding paying child support. However, it is important to note that child custody and child support are not interchangeable concepts. A parent who is awarded custody of their children is not automatically relieved of their obligation to pay child support.
Furthermore, the award of child custody does not impact the amount of child support that is owed.
Pennsylvania's Approach to Child Custody and Child Support
In Pennsylvania, family law attorneys are guided by the best interests of the child when determining child custody arrangements. The court is mandated to consider several factors when making a custody determination, including the child's relationship with each parent, each parent's ability to care for the child, and the child's own preferences (if they are of sufficient age and capacity).
In terms of child support, Pennsylvania operates under a child support guideline formula, which is based on the net income of the non-custodial parent and the number of children they are responsible for supporting. The child support guideline formula is designed to ensure that children receive the financial support they need from both parents.
Fighting for Child Custody vs. Avoiding Child Support Obligations
While some parents may use the child custody process as a means of avoiding paying child support, it is not a foolproof strategy. In Pennsylvania, the court's decision in a child custody case is based on the best interests of the child, not the financial obligations of the parents. Furthermore, the award of child custody does not relieve a parent of their obligation to pay child support.
If you are a Pennsylvania family facing a child custody or child support dispute, it is important to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney. At The Law Office of Matthew Kelly Associates, we have the experience and expertise to help you navigate the complexities of family law and protect your rights and interests.