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What role does income play in a custody battle?

Divorce is a stressful and strenuous process, and it is only worse if you happen to be battling for custody, too. Divorce and custody often have financial components that the court takes into account. If one or both of the parents involved in a custody case have high income or assets, it is reasonable to wonder what impact this will have on the process and outcome of your petition for custody.

Consider the following three factors in a custody case that a parent's income can affect. Whether you are the primary breadwinner or you and your ex both earned high incomes, you should be aware of the following as you enter the process of petitioning for custody.

Determining support

The first, and perhaps most crucial, consideration that income will impact is the amount either spouse receives in alimony and child support. If one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other, it is likely that he or she will pay the lesser-earning spouse child support or spousal support, and in some cases, both. 

Cost of legal fees

Both parents going through a custody and divorce case are likely to be facing substantial legal fees. Even for high-income individuals, this can be burdensome, and if you are seeking support from your ex, this is particularly true. This is one reason it is so important to invest in effective legal representation so that the case does not draw out and inflate the cost any more than is necessary.

Ability to parent

At the end of the day, custody battles are about determining what is absolutely best for a child. Sometimes kids will have better opportunities with one parent than with the other—and sometimes this is tied to income. It is important to remember, though, the child support should fill the gap that may make parents' ability to provide disparate. 

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