How Are Child Custody Arrangements Handled In A Divorce?
The law in Maine does not use the term custody. The primary terminology used is parental rights and responsibilities, residence, and contact. Parental rights and responsibilities refer to the decisions and responsibilities that parents inherently have regarding a child’s welfare. This includes education, religion, residence, and healthcare. The law presumes the parties share those rights. In some cases, the court awards a parent sole parental rights. The court could also allocate specific decision making authority to each parent. The factors used in determining a party’s parental rights and responsibilities are specified by law.
Typically, the court will not interfere if the parents are in full agreement on their parenting plan. It is important to recognize, however, that the court has the authority to reject the parties parenting plan if evidence indicates the plan does not meet the child’s best interest. In representing our clients, we insure the client understands the factors the court looks at in determining the child’s best interest in developing a post-divorce parenting plan.
Conflict is the number one factor that produces adverse effects on children. We spend time with our clients identifying any area of conflict and provide solutions needed to minimize the conditions leading to the conflict. Avoiding parental conflict is a very important part of the case.
Child support is another highly contested issue. In Maine, child support is established by applying a formula contained in the Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines factor the parties’ gross annual income along with the residential schedule of the minor children. The costs of health insurance and daycare will also be factored. This presumptive amount will be ordered unless there are grounds to deviate. Deviations are governed by the law and are only available for specific reasons approved by the court.
For more information on Child Custody Issues In A Divorce In Maine, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (207) 408-3636 today.
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