How Much Child Support Payments Should I Be Getting?
When parents have decided to end their marriage, everyone involved will experience some degree of emotion. When children are involved and child support payments need to be arranged, both parents may feel an added amount of pressure. Child support payments are to ensure the child’s quality of life does not become altered after a divorce. Those going through the process should know what their rights are, as well as whether they are receiving the correct amount. If you have recently gone through a divorce and are trying to establish child support payments, it may be useful to speak with a child support lawyer.
The Purpose of Child Support Payments
Child support is a form of court-ordered payments. In general, they are paid for by the non-custodial parent to help their minor children. A family court judge has a duty to set the payment schedule and amount during the divorce proceeding. When a support order is given by the court, it is meant to assist the custodial parent with all of their expenses related to the children.
As a child support lawyer might explain to you, child support payments are meant to purchase items such as:
- Medical treatment
- Extracurricular activities
The goal of child support is to help the child maintain the same standard of living they had prior to the divorce. It also helps to maintain a normal life and ensure all of their costs are covered.
How Much Support Should Be Given
During the process, the custodial parents might wonder how much child support they should receive. There are different calculation formulas under the Federal Child Support Enforcement Act that parents must pay in different situations. It should be noted the amount of child support ordered by a judge can vary by state, and by the ruling judge.
In general, parents might find it beneficial to speak with a child support lawyer who can explain how the formulas work and how they apply to your case. A lawyer can also support you in the courtroom and ensure that both you and the child are being treated fairly.
How A Judge Determines the Amount
When a judge is considering the amount of child support to be paid, they may consider the following:
- The current custodial agreement
- The non-custodial parents ability to pay for child support
- The number of children involved in the case
Parents who have sole custody will typically be paid by the non-custodial parent. Whereas, parents who have joint custody will find the amount is based upon each parent’s ability to care for the children, as well as, their financial stability. In joint custody cases, the amount of time spent with the children will also likely be factored into the amount of child support to be paid.
The objective of child support payments is to ensure the child’s quality of life does not change or decrease after the divorce. Because of this, the judge will review the child’s current life and way of living. This will be used to determine the amount of child support to be paid. The court might also determine whether or not this lifestyle is possible and adjust accordingly. Further factors that may be included in a judge’s decision include:
- Whether the child has any special requirements
- Vision care
- Dental coverage
- Health insurance
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