One of the most fundamental issues for divorcing couples who have children together is, of course, the children themselves. British Columbia residents understand that child custody can be among the most contentious issues faced by a couple going through divorce. Among the varied issues inherent to custody agreements is the question of how financial responsibility for minor children is decided.
This depends largely upon how the custody agreement is arranged. If a parent has sole custody of a child or children, that parent typically makes the major decisions pertaining to that child’s welfare and upbringing. However, many couples prefer to go the route of joint custody, in which responsibilities for the children are shared in some division between both parents. In this case, the financial obligations of each parent depends on the particulars of their agreement.
Child support, when it is applied, is intended to help cover the basic life expenses of raising a child. This can include food, clothing and shelter, among other basic necessities. Beyond these are so-called “extraordinary expenses”, which are determined on the basis of the needs of the child. Extraordinary expenses can include such varied expenses as child care, tuition and extracurricular activities, and are typically divided either equally or fairly based upon each parent’s financial standing.
Understanding the nuances of child custody is very important for couples with children who are deciding to end their marriage. British Columbia residents may benefit from seeking the support of experienced attorneys in drafting child custody agreements, to ensure both parties take on the responsibility they are most able to handle. And, of course, this helps ensure a smooth transition for the children in the case of a divorce.