Child Custody Attorney Meridian|Child Custody Lawyers Meridian, ID - Idaho Divorce Law Firm

Meridian Child Custody Lawyer

How Is Child Custody Determined in Meridian, Idaho?

Family Court judges in Ada County work with families in Meridian and the greater Boise area. Whether you are getting divorced in Meridian, Idaho, or you were never married to your child’s other parent, our Meridian child custody attorney can help you create a Parenting Plan and resolve other child custody matters. If you and your co-parent can come to an agreement, a judge will sign off on what you have decided if they feel it is in your child’s best interest. If you cannot agree, Family Court judges have the ability to make the decision for you based on what they feel is in the best interests of your child, after each of your Meridian child custody attorneys presents evidence on your behalf.

The Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody

Legal custody means the ability to make decisions on for your child. Typically, major decisions covered by legal custody include educational, health and medical, religious, and general welfare matters. Most parents will share legal custody. Even if one parent has to move away from Meridian, a judge is unlikely to remove legal custody rights from that parent if they stay involved and in contact with their child. There are situations in which one parent is awarded sole legal custody of their child. If this happens, it does not mean the other parent will never see their child, and they will likely still have visitation rights. 

Physical custody refers to how much time your child spends with each parent. Idaho law favors time-sharing as equally as possible, but your Meridian child custody attorney may recommend an agreement in which the child lives primarily with one parent and has visitation with the other parent based on your situation and your specific concerns. Your Parenting Plan should reflect your family’s individual circumstances and what works best for your child. 

If you were not married to your child’s other parent, an unwed mother has full legal and physical custody of her child until paternity is established either by voluntary acknowledgment or by a court. If you are an unwed father seeking legal custody of your child, a child custody attorney in Meridian, Idaho can help you establish paternity through the court.

How Is Parenting Time Decided in Family Court?

Your Parenting Plan will break down the division of parenting time between you and your child’s other parent. The schedule will take into account the distance between the parents’ homes, where the children attend school, and school breaks and holidays. If one parents lives in Meridian and the other parent lives in Texas, or if both parents live in the greater Boise area but one parent has an inflexible work schedule that requires significant travel, the Parenting Plan will reflect your family’s real circumstances and what is practical for the day-to-day.

Equally shared parenting time works better when both parents live in the greater Boise area, and it works best if they both reside in Meridian (or in the same town). The further the distance between their homes, the less feasible equal time becomes. If one parent lives in Meridian and the other lives in Boise, this is not as big an issue. But if one parent lives in Meridian and the other parent lives two hours’ drive away, an every-other-weekend schedule may work better. Or, if the other parent is a plane ride away, the child may live in Meridian most of the school year but spend holidays part of the summer with the further “non-custodial” parent.

How is Child Support Calculated in Meridian, Idaho?

Child support in Idaho is based on the incomes of both parents and the number of children they have together. A child support order may also include the payment of health insurance premiums and unreimbursed medical expenses, school tuition, or fees for extracurricular activities. Work-related childcare expenses for young children in daycare or preschool are not covered by basic child support and may require an additional contribution. Either parent may request a modification of a child support order based upon an increase or decrease in income.

To learn more about how child support works in Meridian, consult our expert child custody lawyer now. We mainly serve in Meridian and in the following cities:

Our firm also help families in surrounding suburbs of Idaho such as:

Our child custody and family law firm is here to help you. Call our Meridian office today at 208-900 6440 or Boise number at 208-900-6313 for a free consultation.