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Types of joint custody and child support

Many parents in Texas share joint custody of their children. These moms and dads should make sure they understand the differences between joint legal and physical custody when discussing how to share parenting time and responsibilities. The type of custody a parent has been granted in a court order can determine their legal obligation to pay child support.

Having joint legal custody allows a parent to ensure that their child receives medical care. Furthermore, legal custody lets the parent be involved in making decisions about the child's care and education. On the other hand, the parent with primary physical custody is considered the main caregiver and has the child in his or her care most of the time.

Child support became prevalent in the 60s when there were many single mothers becoming dependent on government funding. Today, it is more common than ever for fathers to seek primary custody of their children and aim to spend as much time with them as possible. In a situation where parents share equal parenting time, neither parent should owe a duty to pay the other support.

Parents who are facing a child custody battle may benefit from speaking to legal counsel experienced in family law litigation. It is important for parents to understand their rights and obligations before signing an agreement regarding custody and agreeing to pay child support. The failure to pay child support can have harsh consequences, including criminal charges if a parent becomes delinquent.

Once an agreement is in place, it can be difficult to alter unless the parent who is requesting a modification can prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the entry of the previous order. A family law attorney could help a client demonstrate to a judge that a modification is needed and is in the children's best interests.

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