mothers paying child supportGrowing Trend: Mothers Paying Child Support and Fathers getting Custody

Mothers often do pay child support and fathers can get sole custody of their children, as seen in recent cases, such as the actress Halle Berry.   Now, you be thinking that because famous people such as actors and actresses have a lot of money, they have sway over the courts and can make the rules up as they go.  However, even the wealthy are subject to the rules of the court in their state as was the case with Halle Berry and her husband.  After a battle in court, he not only won the right to child support but he won custody as well.

It is becoming a growing trend, mothers paying support and father getting custody.  Just this week, I have had several calls from fathers asking about the likelihood of his getting custody of the children and/or the court ordering the children’s mother to pay support. The conversations start with “what’s the likelihood?” “is it possible?” or “will it ever happen?” as if getting custody of his children or receiving support is a small miracle. I’m here to tell you that yes, it can really happen!  Mothers paying child support is no longer just a dream!

Many years ago, when I first become an attorney, the “norm” was just starting to change from a scenario where the mother had “physical custody” of the children and the father had “visitation.” It was a tough fight, but with the correct circumstances, a case could be made for father to have the lead role in custody of the children.

And if father becomes the primary parent, then yes, father can receive child support. Years ago, we saw that Britney Spears was ordered to pay her boys’ father support of $20,000.00 per month. As we just saw Halle Berry has been ordered to pay Gabriel Aubry $16,000.00 per month in support. She was also ordered to pay their daughter’s school tuition. These are celebrated examples that mothers do pay child support and fathers DO get sole custody!

More and more, in modern day law, I see the Court departing from the notion that a “mother should have the children.” Mothers have equal careers to, or better careers than, fathers. Fathers have taken the caregiver role during marriage by choice. It’s often an equal playing ground made that way by the two parties in the marriage.  For whatever reason, if it is in the best interest of the child, and it is appropriate, the Court will give custody to the father.

Massachusetts Law

In Massachusetts, the Court formerly would only order a joint parenting arrangement if both parents were on board and were in agreement with such a plan. As of late, you can successfully argue for such a plan over the objection of the parent. The facts are key and the argument must be crafted to show the Court that this plan is appropriate.

New Hampshire Law

In New Hampshire, there is a presumption that shared decision-making responsibility is in the best interest of the children absent abuse, neglect, violence or domestic abuse where a restraining order is in place against one parent. In fact, the Court no longer uses the terms “physical custody,” “visitation” or “custodial rights” when discussing the parenting time for a child. Presumably, the children will be parented by both parents. You need to make a case to the Court for with which parent the children should spend their time and why that is appropriate.

I tell all of my clients and prospective clients that these cases are fact specific and that is the absolute truth. Consult with us to determine what plan is most appropriate and we will help you to achieve the goals surrounding your parenting plan.