Many times, child custody disputes are at the forefront of divorce. Parents want to be with their children at all times, but divorce generally does not allow that. Custody disputes make the legal system decide with whom the children will spend the majority of their time, and this is a difficult concept for parents to understand. Parents want to parent their children on a full-time basis, but when there is a fight over custody, one parent is almost guaranteed to spend less time with his or her child/children. Couples are, of course, free to come to a custody arrangement outside of court involvement where viable.
Once child custody is determined, whether by the courts, or by mutual agreement between the parties, a decision must be made with respect to support payments. Child support is defined as monetary payments to the custodial parent from the non-custodial parent for the financial well being of the child. Again, the parties can come to a support arrangement without court intervention. However, if the courts have to make the decision about custody matters, then the parties are bound to the court's ruling. Child support guidelines govern the amount of child support owed to the custodial parent.
In many cases, mothers are awarded primary legal and physical custody of the child, thus mothers will receive the custody payments. There are instances however, where a father is given primary custody and he is to receive the payments. It seems as though when this occurs that fathers do not receive the
child support that they are due at a somewhat higher rate than mothers. Statistics show that custodial fathers have a higher median income than custodial mothers, so the lack of payments does not necessarily impact them as much. That is not to say however, that child support enforcement should not work for the fathers as well. Child support rules should be adhered for the benefit of both custodial mothers and fathers.