How Child Support is Determined

Child support is a court ordered payment of money from one parent of a child to another parent who has custody of the child. Child support payments are meant to be used for child care, educational expenses, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and other expenditures. As a family law lawyer, like from Robinson & Hadeed, might explain to you, children have an inherent right to the support of their parents or adoptive parents. There are strict laws in most states for both parents to provide support for the child. Whether you are seeking custody of a child, disputing the custody challenge, or are wishing to modify a judgement, you should have a child support lawyer on your side.

If you need assistance with child support, please call a law firm today. 

How Child Support is Determined?

Child support is generally determined by the needs of the child and the resources of the parents. The court then assigns the child a share of these resources in the form of a monetary payment. There is a formula that the court refers to in order to determine who will pay child support, and how much. The formula may include things like the parents’ income, who has custody, who has parenting time, and how much, and the number of children to be supported. It may also consider who is paying for healthcare, child care, and other necessary expenses. 

What Child Support Covers

Child support exists to provide the child with essentials. These include food, clothing, medical care, education, and shelter. Under certain circumstances, they may also be used to cover expenses such as travel expenses, care for a child with special needs, and more. 

It is possible for both parents to enter into an agreement that extends to other areas. This will need to be discussed between each parent, and a child support lawyer. In the event a parent is not cooperating with the order or disputing an agreement, it is very important to talk with a child support lawyer. 

Healthcare Costs for Children

In most states, both parents may be responsible for the costs of healthcare. This includes ordinary and extraordinary medical expenses, as well as, health insurance coverage. When determining child support, the court will order one or both parents to maintain health coverage as long as it is available as an employment benefit or at a reasonable cost. If the parents do not have health insurance, any expenses incurred may need to be split. 

Modifying A Child Support Order

In the event that both, or one, parents’ income changes, or the amount of parenting time available is no longer the same, a child support order can be modified. This should be done with the help of a child support lawyer. Keep in mind when a party voluntarily reduces or eliminates income, and the court finds they have the actual ability to pay the support, the amount might not be reduced. This is known as potential income. For a parent who was earning a high salary, but now has a lower salary, this could cause problems.

A judge will need to review the circumstances, such as the potential income of the parent, and job market availability. Based on this, an amount will be determined. This is backed upon specific findings. 

If you are ready to reach an amicable child support agreement, or you are looking to modify or appeal an agreement, a child support lawyer can help you. Call a law firm today.