Child Custody And Child Support
At Cloutier, Conley & Duffett PA, child custody disputes are among the most common types of family law cases we handle. We understand what is at stake and the emotions involved. While we can never promise you a specific outcome, we can promise you this: we will fight to do what is best for you and your child.
Time With Your Child
Marriage and romantic relationships may end but your relationship with your child is forever. The law encourages continuous contact between children and their parents.
In Maine, child custody is referred to as “parental rights and responsibilities”. The elements of parental rights and responsibilities are:
- Decision making
- Rights of Contact
Unless there is a compelling reason not to, Maine law typically favors “shared parental rights and responsibilities”. This means that courts encourage parents to work together to make decisions in the best interest of their children. Our attorneys can help you determine if this is the right approach for you and your child.
Residence And Rights Of Contact
Custody living arrangements can take many different forms. In some instances, children may split their time equally between households (this is known as “shared residence”). Often times, it makes sense for children to live primarily with one parent and have visitation time with the other. The “best interest of the child” standard comes into play when making these determinations. We will help you understand how this standard applies to your unique situation, and will work to achieve a schedule that best serves you and your child.
At Cloutier, Conley & Duffett PA, our attorneys are committed to protecting and fostering healthy parent-child relationships. When handling custody disputes, our primary goal is getting a schedule that will enable you to build and maintain a strong bond with your child. Whether through negotiation or litigation, we will fight to protect your parental rights.
Determining Child Support
Child support is governed by state guidelines. When determining each parent’s financial responsibility, the law looks at a variety of factors, including:
- The number of nights the child spends with each parent
- Each parent’s income and financial resources
- The number of children being supported
However, if your child has special educational or health-related needs, if your child is involved in expensive extracurricular activities, or if you have health insurance or day care costs, then a court can take these additional expenses into account. Our lawyers can help you negotiate a fair support arrangement that takes these factors into consideration.
Post Judgment Motions
Sometimes, circumstances change after a final custody or child support order, and it becomes necessary to return to court. Our attorneys can help you file a motion to modify or enforce a pre-existing court order.
When re-calculating child support, it is extremely important not to delay your consultation with an attorney, as existing child support orders generally can only be modified from the date you serve the other parent with your motion.
Learn More About Your Situation
Every family is different. To discuss your specific custody issue in detail, contact our firm. Consultations are free. Call 207-747-1752 to schedule your meeting.
Located in Portland, we handle custody and child support issues throughout southern Maine.