If you are getting a divorce or have separated from a partner with whom you share a child, the issue of child support will eventually come up. Here are listed the most common child support questions parents have, and the answers that you need to know:
How is child support calculated?
United States courts now use a generic table that calculates by taking into account takes the parent’s income, the number of children, and the area cost of living. This table was meant bring uniformity in child support, so that one parent would pay close to the same amount as other parents in a similar situation.
Courts only sway from this formula when one parents is considerably wealthier than the other, or there are other mitigating factors that might justify a different amount. When a child has special needs would be one of these factors.
How do I determine child support?
Before you decide to divorce, you will want to calculate how much child support you with be either receiving or paying. The amount of support varies from state to state, but you can find general guidelines on how to calculate support by searching the internet.
Do different states and counties have different rates of child support?
Most people don’t realize that child support is set by the county in which the child is living. This means that if a custodial parent moves, his or her child support award can also change should either parent file for a re-adjustment. It may rise or fall, sometimes a large amount, depending on the new area of residence. For example, a parent who moves from California to Wyoming will see the child support award drop substantially if the paying spouse puts in for an adjustment. This is because the cost-of-living calculation is much lover in Wyoming.
What should I do if the child support checks don’t arrive?
Have you thought about how you will survive if the child support doesn’t arrive? Only about 50-60% of child support awards are fully calculated, and even loving and responsible parents sometimes run into situations that leave them unable to pay. For example, if your former spouse looses a job, that could leave you without support for a long time, possibly a couple of years, while your Ex searches for a new job.
If a spouse simply refuses to pay out of spite, you can take him or her to court and have their wages garnished. However this, too, takes time.
Will child support cover the cost of raising your kids?
Generally, you should not expect your child support payments to fully supply the cost of raising children, or that they will raise you to the same comfort level you enjoyed before the divorce. Child support is limited by your ex-spouse’s income and ability to pay. If their income is low, it may only cover a portion of your child rearing costs. You should also note that child support awards do not take into account extra expenses, things like college tuition, or the cost of braces. Parents will need to arrange for these things on their own.
Will I still owe child support if I have joint-custody?
It depends on all other circumstances. If one parent makes substantially more than the other one, the higher earning parent can still owe child support even if he or she shares 50% custody of the kids.