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Child Custody and Support

Child Custody and Support Newsletters

Expert Witnesses in Child Custody Proceedings

The rules of evidence employed by the courts in legal actions set out the qualifications for expert witnesses, which may be said in a general way to consist of a level of education, training, or experience that has created in such a witness a degree of knowledge about a particular scientific or technical subject that is greater than the knowledge of such a subject possessed by people lacking such education, training, or experience. Unlike most witnesses, whose testimony in court proceedings is limited to factual matters actually known to them, expert witnesses are permitted, based on the factual evidence that has been presented in court, to express their opinions on issues related to the technical subjects within their areas of expertise. Extensive use of expert witnesses is made in both civil and criminal proceedings in the United States.

Income Withholding for Child Support Actions

Wage withholding is a method of paying child support by having the obligation taken directly out of the parent’s pay by the employer. Some parents voluntarily agree to wage withholding; others have it imposed upon them by a court.

Involuntary Child Custody Proceedings under the Indian Child Welfare Act

When an agency of a state believes that it is the best interests of a child, who could be of Native American descent, to take involuntary custody of the child from his or her parents, the procedures set forth in the Indian Child Welfare Act must be followed. The Act requires notice, a right to intervene in the proceedings by the child’s tribe and Indian custodian, appointment of counsel for an indigent parent or Indian custodian, access to court records, and jurisdictional and trial considerations.

Restriction on Visitation Rights

In order to protect a child, a court will sometimes impose restrictions on the rights of a noncustodial parent to visit with a child. The extent of the restrictions is based upon what the court finds will best protect the child while still fostering the relationship between the child and the parent.

Role of Income Tax Returns in Determining Child Support Obligations

In order to properly determine a parent’s child support obligation, it is important for the court to know what the parent actually earns. Tax returns reveal not only what a parent has historically made, but may also reveal amounts the parent has been concealing or if the parent is intentionally impoverishing him or herself.

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