Child Custody and Support Newsletters
In establishing custody and child support, a court has authority to allocate the tax exemption for children of divorced parents. The tax exemption may also be negotiated and agreed upon by the parties.
In hotly contested custody cases, where the parents cannot agree on anything, courts often will appoint an attorney to represent the child or children of the parties to help resolve the custody issue. The decision to appoint an attorney is within the discretion of the court.
In some circumstances a tribunal may decide that it is in the best interests of a child to modify the amount of a parent's child support obligation. More often, the modification results in an increase in the amount of support, but there are occasions when a court has found a reason to deviate downwards.
A parent who takes a child and fails to return him or her may be charged with a crime. There are state and federal laws that make it a crime to unlawfully retain, obtain, or conceal a child where someone else has lawful custody under an existing court order or where custody proceedings are pending.
In most states, initial child support awards may be made retroactive to the date of filing and modifications may be retroaction to the date a modification is requested. In some states, retroactivity is mandatory, and in others, it is discretionary.