As your family situations changes, for example, due to separation, divorce, or deployment, you may have many concerns about who will have custody of your children and how the costs of raising them will be divided. Even when a divorce is "friendly," each parent is advised to seek out his or her own lawyer to be sure his or her rights and those of any children are protected.
Traditionally, individual states have regulated family law matters, such as marriage, divorce, and child custody. Over the past two decades, however, states have adopted uniform laws governing child custody and reducing the amount of variance from state to state. The rules, however, governing where to file a court case to obtain custody or modify an existing custody order can be very complicated and require advice from an attorney. While the following information offers an overview of child custody and support guidelines, a lawyer should explain the specific laws of your state.