5 Child Support Basics

Generally the judges determine most child support awards by considering the state child support guidelines. So there is no point in wasting time and money arguing in court about it. However prior to calculating child supporting and negotiating with your spouse, you should have a clear idea of what the court would do and how judges make their decisions. Consult with an experienced family law attorney for invaluable advice on how courts determine child support.
Child support is calculated according to state law. These formulas are generally complex but there are many software and websites that can help you calculate the child support payments under you state laws. The parents’ income is the single biggest factor in determining child support. While some states consider the income of both parents, in some states, only the non-custodial parent is taken into consideration. Some states also consider the percentage of time each parent spends with the children. Generally the states will consider many factors in calculating child support.
When one spouse thinks that the guidelines shouldn’t apply for some reason but the spouse doesn’t agree then the former must inform the judge. If you think the guidelines are not applicable in your case, seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. The attorney can convince the judge that the guidelines are not applicable in your case. If there are valid reasons, the judge can deviate from the guidelines. The following are considered valid reasons for deviating from the guidelines:
  • The      non-custodial parent can afford more.
  • The      amount provided by the guideline is more that the required support. In      such cases, the judge can reduce the amount of child support.
  • The      paying parent does not have the capacity to pay support.
If the child has special needs or interests that require a higher amount of support, the judge can order payment of child support excess of the amount prescribed by the guidelines. The judge can also order payment of an amount lower than the amount prescribed in the guidelines if the paying parent true income is different from the actual income. For example a parent who is trained as an account but works as a cab driver can request the court to calculate the child support payment based on his actual income. Spouse who may not be able to pay child support as per the state guidelines should consult with an experienced family law attorney.


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