Parents in New Jersey might be interested to hear that establishing child support and visitation arrangements are not a requirement for some couples, especially if they were never married. They are, nevertheless, issues that they might want to consider addressing. Parents might feel that they are handling such issues fine on their own and don’t need to make such formal arrangements. However, in the event that conflicts do arise later on down the road, they might wish that they had taken the time to make them.
Usually when couples go through a divorce who retains custody of the children and how much the other parent will pay in child support is established. However, for parents who were never married and, consequently, never divorced, the only order that might be established is that of child support in order for them to receive government benefits. Currently, the government enforces child support collections upon families who receive government benefits. However, it makes no provisions for visitation arrangements.
The Obama administration has suggested that Child Support Enforcement agencies expand their services to make visitation arrangements for families as well. Statistics show that only 38 percent of black children and 50 percent of low-income children live with both their parents versus 68 percent of the general population of children who live with both their parents. Some people think that having Child Support Enforcement agencies step up to negotiate visitation arrangements among parents would be a positive step towards amending the problem.
Divorce attorneys might be able to offer assistance to divorcing couples trying to work out how child custody will be divided among them. They might also help them come to terms with other issues like child support, alimony and division of property.
Source: Washington Informer, “Putting the Spotlight on Family Law Legal Needs”, Joy Moses, September 17, 2013