To determine which parent or family member will have custody of children or to create a visitation schedule, a custody action may be brought. Determining which parent makes final decisions or whom the child will primarily live with is of the highest importance to almost every mother and father. As such, the process can be emotionally draining and stressful, especially if custody is disputed.
Issues typically addressed in a custody action are:
- Legal custody;
- Physical custody;
- Visitation rights – Weekly, summer, and holidays;
- Child support;
- Medical Insurance; and
Unless there is a history of domestic abuse, courts tend to grant joint legal custody, which means both parents have the opportunity to take part in decisions that affect their children. Although there has been a recent trend by courts to grant shared physical care, courts still typically grant primary physical custody to one parent with visitation rights to the other. The resolution of the action is dependent on several factors which the court considers, but ultimately, the best interest of the child is paramount to the court’s decision.
Custody disputes are complex and challenging for all parties. For answers to the most commonly asked questions from those filing custody actions, please click here to be taken to our Q & A page.
To get an idea of what child support may be awarded in your case, you can use this calculator, or the Child Support Recovery Unit’s calculator.
You will be required to attend a Children in the Middle class. Qualifying classes can be found here.