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Manage custody and child support FAQs
There are a few types of legal child custody situations. While you and the other parent may be creative with your visiting and care arrangements, legally there are only a few custody definitions.
Joint: Both parents share custody and the ability to make life decisions
Sole: One parent has custody and makes all life decisions for child(ren)
Joint: Shared parenting with dual residences
Sole: Child lives with one parent
Bird's Nest Custody: Children live in one home, parents take turns in the home
Child Visitation refers to how a parent who doesn't have physical custody can interact with the children. Unsupervised visitation means they can see the child often without supervision. Supervised visitation requires the other parent or an agreed-upon third party present during visits. Virtual visitations are visits by video or telephone.
Custody changes or modifications are simple if both parents are in agreement. If parents are not in agreement, such as one parent thinks the other is unfit, it is much more challenging. For the most part, most states want both parents to help raise the children, even if things don't go quite right. In most cases, supervised visitation would be enforced before a court-ordered custody modification.
However, modification to custody agreements may be considered by the courts in a few situations, such as:
Courts are not usually quick to change custody and will consider the best interest of the child before parental interests. You may need to hire a lawyer or seek social services for support.
The courts will determine the child support to be paid in most cases. State laws vary as well. While state laws vary, most courts will take into consideration the same things. If you are looking to estimate how much you need to budget for child support, you can find child support calculators online.
It is possible to change the child support due; however, it must be approved by the courts to be enforceable. You'll need to show a change of circumstances to justify the change in support.