Questions And Answers About Child Support

If you are going through a divorce and seeking custody of your child, you may be wondering how child support works? Here are a few questions and answers to help you better understand it:

Who pays child support?

During a divorce, one parent is sometimes awarded sole custody of the couple's child or children. The parent who does not have primary custody is usually required to continue supporting his or her child through monthly monetary payments.

How is the amount of child support decided?

The amount of child support ordered is usually based on the amount of money that each parent makes. Additionally, the amount of time that each of the child's parents has physical custody of him or her is considered. Parents who only have a child in their custody for a fraction of the time are awarded less child support even though they have primary custody. Still, each state has its own guidelines concerning child support calculations.  Other factors that are considered are the child's regular expenses, the financial obligations of both parents and the youngsters standard of living prior to the divorce.

How do the courts know how much the divorcing parents earn?

Frequently, each parent is required to complete a statement detailing their monthly income and obligations. Nevertheless, other than taxes and other mandatory expenses, many regular obligations may not be considered as child support payments are calculated. In general, child support is considered more of a priority than personal expenses.

In some instances, a parent may have to pay child support for children from a previous relationship as well as those from his or her most recent marriage. The court may consider the established payments when determining the amount of the additional child support.

Are there financial factors, other than current net income, that can affect child support amounts?

The court can consider the earning potential of a parent as well as their current earnings to assign an amount for child support. Thus, if the paying parent has the potential to earn much more than he or she currently does, the amount of child support assigned may be higher.

Can child support amounts be altered after they are officially assigned?

Child support amounts can be modified, but only through a court order.  If you and your ex-spouse agree on a change in child support, you can submit your suggested modification for court approval. However, if no agreement can be reached, a court hearing must be requested for a revised determination to be made.

To learn more about child support and how it works, schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer in your area such as Lisa Cappolella Attorney at Law.