Considerations in Deciding Custody and Visitation 2017-09-13T18:39:39+00:00

CONSIDERATIONS IN DECIDING CUSTODY AND VISITATION

** Keep in mind this list is simply meant to facilitate discussions regarding a child custody and visitation. It is not meant to serve as legal advice, nor are all the items listed required for any agreement. Please just use this list to formulate a rough outline of the terms of any custody agreement and visitation schedule; later those terms can be reviewed with one of the attorneys at our firm.

PHYSICAL AND LEGAL CUSTODY

  • Which parent will the child primarily live with, i.e., who will be the custodial parent?
  • Will the parties share legal custody?
    • Physical custody refers to where the child lives and who has responsibilities
      associated with daily childcare.
    • Legal custody is the decision-making responsibilities associated with the
      education, healthcare and religious upbringing of a child.
  • Which parent will have final decision making authority if the parties cannot reach an
    agreement on a certain decision?
  • Will final decision making authority be split according to what the issue is?

TAX DEDUCTIONS

  • Who will claim the child(ren) on their taxes?
    • According the Internal Revenue Code, the custodial parent is entitled to the
      income tax deduction
    • However, the parties can agree otherwise, thus allowing the non-custodial
      parent to claim the children on certain years.

MEDICAL INSURANCE

  • Who currently provides insurance for the children?
  • Will that party continue to provide insurance?
  • If the insurance will continue what must the insurance cover (vision, dental, medical,
    etc.)?
  • Are there any other requirements regarding maintenance of the insurance coverage?

UNINSURED MEDICAL COSTS

  • Will the parties split the necessary uninsured medical costs?
  • If so what do the parties deem necessary?
  • How will the split occur (generally the best way to do this is to use the percentages
    determined by the child support worksheet, or simply split 50/50)?
  • Must the parties consult with each other prior to obtaining treatment that is
    uncovered, provided there is no emergency?

CHILDCARE

  • Which party will pay for any needed child care, or will that be split?
  • Is there a cap on how much the party must pay?
  • Who is authorized to pick the child up from day care?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring that the other’s name is on a list of people who can
    pick the child up?

VISITATION

  • For a standard visitation schedule, please see the attached example
  • Are there any limitations on visitation?
    • For example: No alcohol during visitation; no drug use during visitation; no
      overnight guests who are not related by blood or marriage during visitation; the
      child(ren) cannot leave the state, without prior approval by the custodial
      parent, during visitation, etc.
  • What is the visitation schedule?
    • A normal visitation schedule generally consists of every other weekend and one
      night per week (overnight or simply dinner time).
  • Holidays:
    • Christmas – how will you split this time?
    • New Years – how will you split this time?
    • Thanksgiving – how will you split this time?
    • Labor Day – how will you split this time?
    • Memorial Day – how will you split this time?
    • July 4 th – how will you split this time?
    • Generally alternating holidays every other year helps ensure sufficient
      parenting time on these holidays for both parties.
  • Summer?
    • How much time will the non-custodial parent have during the summer?
    • Will the time be consecutive or split?
    • Will one party get to choose when the parenting time will occur, if so which
      party, on which years and by when will they notify the other party?
  • Birthdays, both the child(ren)’s and the parents? Determine whether and when parents
    will each have visitation on these days
  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – generally these are given the respective parent
    regardless of the other visitation schedule. Please note if this is not acceptable.
  • Any other special conditions concerning visitation?

PICKING UP THE CHILDREN

  • Where will the non-custodial parent pick-up and drop-off the children?
  • Who will cover the cost of travel if one party lives more than 30 miles away from the
    other?

MOVING

  • If one party decides to move, how soon must they notify the other party?
  • Will there be a renegotiation of visitation and custody if a party contemplates a move
    outside the State of Georgia?

CHILD SUPPORT

  • Please review the child support worksheet and provide all the necessary information in
    order to allow a determination of the appropriate child support amount.
  • The most important information includes:
  • Gross monthly income of both parties;
    • Child care costs (monthly);
    • Health Insurance costs for child(ren) (monthly);
    • Dental Insurance costs for child(ren) (monthly);
    • Monthly costs for extracurricular activities.