Child Custody and Child Support in a Separation Agreement
Handling Child Custody and Support during a Separation
How a Separation Agreement Can Protect Your Children
What Is Child Custody?
- Will one or both parents have full control over the children and be able to make decisions and care for their needs?
- Who will take care of the children on a daily basis?
- How will decisions about the children be made?
- How will disagreements be resolved?
- Where will the children live?
What Are the Different Types of Child Custody Arrangements?
Custody and visitation rights aren’t just for biological parents. A person who acted in place of a parent, such as a step-parent or a grandparent, can petition the court for these rights. However, this also means that this person could be held responsible for child support payments.
What Is the Best Custody Arrangement for Your Situation?
- The children’s overall well-being
- If one parent was the primary caregiver for the children in the past
- A parent’s ability to instruct, encourage, and discipline the children
- Which home or area the children currently live in
- The mental and physical health of a parent
- The child’s relationship with a parent
- A parent’s integrity and behavior
Who Makes Decisions for and about Your Children after You Separate?
- Joint decisions, meaning you and your ex-spouse would discuss and decide together
- Sole decisions, meaning you and your ex-spouse make your own decisions
- Divided decisions, meaning you make some decisions (for example, decisions about health care and school) and your ex-partner makes other decisions (for example, decisions about religion or culture)
What Decisions Will You Need to Make for Your Children after Separation?
- Education: Where will your children go to school?
- Health care: Will you and your ex-spouse attend your children’s doctor’s appointments together?
- Food: Is there anything your children are not allowed to eat?
- Religion or spiritual beliefs: Will your children follow certain religious or spiritual practices?
- Holidays: Where will your children celebrate certain holidays?
- Travel: What type of information will you provide to the other parent when traveling away from the home?
- Language: What language or second-language will your children speak?
- Culture: Will your children follow any cultural practices?
- What should the children eat for dinner?
- What time should the children go to bed?
- When should the children do their homework?
Where Will Your Children Live after Separation?
Moving to a New City, State, or Country with Your Children
5 Tips for Co-Parenting
How Does Child Support Work?
When Does Child Support End?
In this instance, you can inform the court of your financial situation and request a reduction, but you can’t stop or reduce the payments yourself.
How to Discuss Changes of Circumstances after Your Separation Agreement Is Made
- You lost or changed jobs or made less money than expected
- Your children’s extracurricular activities have changed and more support is required to pay for these activities
- Your children moved to a different residence such as from your home to your former spouse’s home
- Your children started university
Include All Your Child Custody and Support Plans in Your Separation Agreement
- How will decisions be made
- Who will make decisions
- Where the kids will live
- How holidays will be divided between parents
- What the other parent’s visitation schedule will be
- The day of the month that child support payments will be made (for example, the first day of each month)
- The date child support payments should end