Can My Spouse Fight for Custody if I Request Child Support?
During a divorce or separation involving children, two important legal issues must be decided: child support and child custody. These legal issues are related, because the custody arrangement can impact child support obligations. However, the issue of custody should not be decided based on a willingness or ability to pay child support.
Understanding Nevada laws on custody and support is essential so you can protect your children and provide them with financial stability and a loving home. Pintar Albiston, LLP is here to help you with your custody and support case. Call or contact us today to learn more.
If I Request Child Support, Can My Spouse Fight for Custody?
If you are raising your children alone, you deserve to receive child support from the other parent. More importantly, your children deserve this financial support. Unfortunately, many parents who are raising their kids are frightened out of making a request for child support because the other parent threatens to fight for custody.
The truth is, either parent can decide to fight for custody at any point and for any reason. If no legal custody order has been entered by the court and no custody agreement is in place, both a mother and a father could assert their rights and file a petition for custody. If a parent makes the choice to do this solely to avoid child support, it may be a bad reason for acting but it is perfectly legal.
However, just because your spouse decides to fight for custody does not mean that the court will grant it. The court will consider a number of different things to decide what is in the best interests of the child. One important factor is who has been providing primary care. If you have been taking care of your child with no assistance or support and your spouse suddenly petitions for custody because of a request for child support, it is unlikely the judge will look favorably upon these actions.
While your spouse may be given some visitation rights after asking the court, this could occur at any time a petition for visitation or custody is made regardless of whether you seek child support or not. Do not be intimidated out of getting the financial assistance you need to provide for your child because of a threat that your spouse will seek custody.
How Custody and Support Issues are Decided
Custody and child support are related issues because the parent who cares for the child should receive support from the non-custodial parent. The more time the non-custodial parent spends with the child, the lower the support amount will be.
However, the issues of custody and support are also decided based on independent criteria. A parent may be required to pay child support even without visitation rights, and a parent may have visitation rights even if he or she cannot pay child support. Likewise, a refusal to pay support does not give a custodial parent the right to withhold visits when a custody order and visitation schedule exist.
The laws on custody and support can be complicated and it is advisable to speak with a family law attorney. Pintar Albiston, LLP can represent you if you wish to request child support or if you need help with any issues related to divorce and children. Call today or contact us online today to speak with a Las Vegas divorce lawyer to learn more.