If you are awarded sole custody in divorce, you are entitled to child support. Even if you are awarded joint custody in divorce, but the arrangement calls for the children to spend more time with you, you can still be awarded child support dependent upon the specific circumstances in your case. But first, you have to win custody!
How to Win Custody
1. Maximize Your Visitation During Divorce – whenever you are scheduled to spend time with the children, make sure you are there. This also needs to be quality time, not just picking them up and dropping them off at your mother’s house.
2. Documentation – if your wife is doing things that she should not be doing when she has the children, make sure you get documented proof of it happening. In addition, check to see if she is actually raising the kids or they are spending all their time at a friend’s house or being watched by a nanny or a sitter. This was always a major reason why men were never awarded custody. Today, the same holds true for women.
3. Adjust Your Schedule – in order to win custody, you will have to prove to the courts that you have enough time to actually raise your children. This is the point we mentioned above regarding the wife. If you are a workaholic, changes will need to be made if you expect to win your case.
What Is Included in Child Support?
Child support is meant to provide basic living care for the children. This does not include luxury purchases, such as gifts or vacation trips. Support can be broken down into three basic categories:
1. Basic Child Support – all of the everyday living expenses fall into this category. Clothing, school uniforms (if needed), food, shelter, education, and transportation are all examples.
2. Childcare Support – the parent paying for support may be required to help the parent winning custody to pay for daily childcare while he or she is at work or school.
3. Medical Support – if the parent required to pay support has a medical plan, he or she can add the children to his or her plan. If the parent that has custody has them on his or her plan, the parent paying child support may be required to pay deductibles and any charges not covered by the insurance.
Remember, time spent with the children will play a large role in the overall child support recommended by the courts. For example, if one parent has the children over 10 percent of the time, he or she may receive a reduction in child support based off the state’s support formula. No reduction is received for a parent with less than 10 percent visitation.