There are also other times when grandparents or other relatives must apply to the court for custody of their relative’s children, when both parents are not able to take care of their children. When a grandparent or other relative (and even sometimes family friends) must apply for legal guardianship, that is also a custody matter for which you should seek legal advice.
The parents are also free to decide how much support can be paid to the parent with less income and/or the majority of the timeshare with the child or children. However, if the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will dictate the amount of child support based on a statewide guideline, determined by a computer program. The amount of child support ordered is rarely enough for the supported parent to be comfortable, and is almost always an amount that is a hardship to the supporting parent.
When two incomes supported the intact family, splitting those incomes between two new households nearly always will stretch both parents’ household budgets.