Divorce Lawyer

How Is Child Support Determined in a Divorce or Child Support Case?

On the brink of a married couple’s separation and divorce, if children are involved, child support is an issue that always comes up. If the couple can reach an agreement before seeking an attorney, the situation goes much smoother. However, this is not a perfect world and the laws on child support reign supreme. Most of the time, neither party knows the amount that should get awarded for child support. It is then that the domicile parent seeking child support should consult with child support attorneys at The Cossitt Law Firm. The attorneys’ expertise knows the figures and the amount of money the domicile parent can seek as each situation is different.

The Factors That Makeup Child Support

Before the courts consider alimony or any agreements in the divorce, they will determine the child’s needs before anything else. The amount of money granted for child support go by these factors:

  • Education.
  • Medical Care.
  • Food.
  • Clothing.
  • Shelter.
  • Recreational Costs.

The primary basics are viewed at the highest standards, and the courts will award these necessary funds first. The secondary parent who does not have custody will have to pay the domicile parent according to a percentage of how much income they have. If the secondary parent cannot reach these goals, they will have to find a way to make it happen. Sometimes the court may be lenient on the price, but no matter what, child support payments must get met in the allotted time frame. This is also what the court will look at when determining the monthly payments:

  • The emotional and physical condition of the child.
  • The financial status of both parents.
  • The financial resources of the children.
  • The educational needs.
  • The standards according to how the child would live if both parents would remain together.

If there are other financial needs, it is up to the domicile parent to bring them to court. The judge will consider all suggestions and grant what is fair for the child’s well-being. In most situations, it can be looked upon as the more money the secondary parent makes, the more they will pay in child support. However, the domicile parent may be the breadwinner out of the two parents. The judge will look into those factors as well. These would be considered High-Income Child Support Payments. These situations also take the most highly trained attorneys to factor in the cost.

What Happens If Child Support Payments Are Not Met?

Here is where experienced attorneys pay off in the long run. Many secondary parents cannot make child support payments, or they refuse to pay them. This is where the domicile parent can get with their attorney to file for contempt. Not paying one’s child support is heavily frowned upon and is punished to the furthest extent of the law. These are some punishments a secondary parent who violates this law will face:

  • Fines.
  • Prison time.
  • A 12 percent interest rate per year compounded monthly.
  • Suspended driver’s license.
  • Suspension of professional licenses.
  • Payment of attorney’s fees.
  • Whatever else the judge sees fit.

There are limitations, but they are few and seldom come up in court for a defense case. There are times when a change in child custody is in order. These situations may arise in child abuse, neglect, or drug cases. Sometimes the domicile parent is not fit to be the parent, and the secondary parent can fight to gain custody and escape the penalties of not paying back pay in child support. Then, an agreement may happen innocently where the parents can change who has custody of the child. Once again, the judge will rule in favor of what is best for the child, not the parent.

The domicile parent may seek the attorney’s help in the situation, but they will direct them to the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU). Every county has these enforcement facilities, and they enforce the laws where the child resides. The CSEU is the organization that handles the situation once a claim is filed. They will file for contempt, and if the secondary parent refuses to comply, they will move on to garnishing wages. From there, they will place liens on cars, real estate, bank accounts, and tax refunds. The CSEU will charge the interest, then suspending all licenses if the secondary parent still does not comply. Last comes the warrants for the arrest and federal prosecution. It depends on the amount of back pay owed if it is a felony or a misdemeanor.

What Happens with a Child Support Order Modification?

Even though the laws are practically written in stone, the courts understand that a person’s situation will change over time. If the parents comply with the laws, something may happen to the secondary parent’s income where they show they are trying but cannot make the total monthly payments. This almost always occurs when a child is small, and they find themselves closer to 18 when the payments stop.

Payments can get fixed as long as the child will not suffer any losses for their lifestyle. For example, if a child of five years old is receiving $500 a month in child support from the secondary parent, and the secondary parent has the right to see their child. If the parent loses their job or something happens that causes a reduction in pay, they can pay what they can and file for $300 or $400 if the child’s best interest is met. A Child Support Order Modification can occur if there is a 10 percent change to payments.

Should the domicile parent stop the other parent from seeing the child for no reason, the child support payments must continue. The judge will decide what should be done. They have a right to see their child if there is no harm done physically or emotionally. These changes in parenting are called Modification of Maintenance, and it falls under the same category but deals with the parenting situation pikashow app for pc.

Explaining Modification of Maintenance

Divorce can be a tricky situation regarding parenting and the way the court handles the cases. There is divorce maintenance, and there is maintenance in child custody. The courts allow modification of maintenance if there is a material change in parenting circumstances. It can work for either party, or either parent can file. For most cases, a regular parenting schedule will look like this:

  • Every Monday through Friday: The domicile parent has the child.
  • One weekend: The Secondary parent will have the child.
  • The following weekend: The domicile parent will have the child, and the parents will alternate who has the child each weekend.
  • Holidays: Holidays will alternate yearly and be shared among the parents.
  • Mother’s Day weekend: The mother will have the child that weekend. If it falls back-to-back with the previous week, the weekends may alternate.
  • Father’s Day weekend: The father will have the child that weekend. If it falls back-to-back with the previous week, the weekends may alternate.
  • Family emergencies: Emergencies are to be communicated.

Modification of Maintenance would occur if the above schedule was the agreement, and something happened to either parent where the custody changes or parenting days and times changes. Once again, these are legal statuses and can only be changed by court order. These are some of the situations that can change the parenting schedule of who has the child or children at a given time:

  • If either parent takes on a job where they need to go away, such as the military or offshore work for examples.
  • If the child is endangered with either parent, such as abuse, neglect, drugs, or unlivable conditions.
  • If the child has a curricular activity that enhances their growth that takes away parenting time such as sports, 4-H, band, or other functions.
  • Most cases are negotiable; others are litigated.

Going Through a Divorce with Children

There is no legal fix to repair the situation of a divorce and its effects on a child. The court can begin with the child’s best interest, then resolve the divorce issue between the parents. Once the child custody and support are finalized, the process starts with splitting everything up and sorting out what the husband and wife must endure. Every aspect of what can hurt the child is removed, and the secondary parent will face the verdict of paying alimony on top of child support.

All that was purchased within the marriage becomes community property and split 50/50. In some cases, the child or children will be included in items such as the home and any material things that deal with the entire family, and most will be kept with the domicile parent. Banking accounts are also included to where finances are split between the couple. Funds can also be set aside for the children, which will not get split up, but rather the domicile parent will be in the care of the account until the child turns 18 years old.

Once the domicile parent controls the child’s account, the secondary parent may add money to the account, but funds will not be allowed to be withdrawn. Unless for emergencies, the domicile parent can fix the account to where there is no money withdrawn by either parent. There may also be situations where the domicile parent does not need the child support payments. The funds can be deposited directly into the child’s account for a school or getting a kickstart in life. It would be wise to have wills drawn up if something happened to either parent, which would also work in the child’s best interest.

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