Child Custody and Support Newsletters
“Joint legal custody” means that both parents share the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child.
A parent’s child support obligation may not terminate when the child attains the age of majority. If an adult child cannot be self supporting due to a disability, the state may require that child support be continued.
The changing nature of marital and other domestic relationships in the United States has been reflected in a corresponding evolution in the way in which the legal system deals with issues related to family law. One such group of issues concerns the child custody rights of a putative father, that is to say, a man who is supposed or reputed to be the father of a child born to a woman to whom he is not married or who claims to be the father of such a child.
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.
Problems arise where a parent and a child do not reside in the same state. To deal with jurisdictional problems in establishing and enforcing child support obligations, the federal government enacted the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act in the 1950s. Although it has been mostly replaced by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, enacted in 1998, URESA still applies in some situations.