Page Number: 18
When a couple with minor children divorces, one of them will be designated as the custodial parent.
The custodial parent is responsible for protecting and supervising the children, caring for them every day and educating them. They also manage the children's property and give their consent to validate the children's legal actions.
On the other hand, the parent without child custody cannot escape responsibility for the children's upbringing, simply because he or she is the non-custodial parent.
The non-custodial parent is still the parent of the children and must share the responsibility of providing for them as a parent.
It is important to be as specific as possible, clearly stating the amount of child support, the method and period of payment, signed by both parents, to avoid any disputes later on about the details of the agreement.
If an agreement could not be made at the time of divorce, child support may be requested at any time afterwards, until the children are financially and socially independent.
It is recommended that you notarize the document outlining the arrangement. Also, in a mediated divorce, you should have it noted in the mediation record.
Visitation is when parents who live apart from their children interact with them on a regular or ongoing basis by talking and playing together. Even after their parents divorce, children can develop a deep sense of security and self-esteem when they feel loved by both parents.
In cases where there was violence in the home prior to divorce (separation), visitation should be discouraged, depending on whether there is a risk of violence to the children during visitation. In such situations, if the parties are unable to discuss the issue among themselves, they should use mediation in the family court to resolve the issue to their mutual satisfaction. If an agreement cannot be reached through the mediation process, the case will be decided by a judge.
For visitation, the timing, method, and frequency of visits need to be agreed upon, as well as the rules that both parents must follow. It is also best to be as specific as possible about who, where, and how the drop-off and pick-up will be handled.
If the parents cannot decide upon these matters through discussion, they may petition the family court for mediation.