The law requires a non-custodial parent to pay a monthly allowance to help a custodial parent with child rearing expenses. Child support is determined by a court in the state of residence. To ensure consistency in the amount of child support awarded to custodial parents, the federal government has established state-specific guidelines covering several areas. Expert child support attorneys provide free consultations to people struggling to understand their states child support laws.
How Much Child Support Should You Be Paying?
These state-specific guidelines consider the income of both parents, deductions such as alimony or child support to another party, and childcare, healthcare, and unique expenses. Most guidelines attempt to account for the amount of time spent with each parent, increasing the child support amount when a non-custodial parent does not spend much time with his or her child. Therefore, a situation involving sole custody and limited visitation is likely to result in a larger amount of child support than one featuring extensive visitation or shared custody in certain states.
Non-custodial parents should be aware of their child support rights and should be prepared to enforce them if the amount of support awarded seems too high. Many people presume that their state child support guidelines provide for the correct amount of financial support. However, it may be possible to obtain a lower or higher amount of child support. Non-custodial parents attempting to lower child support payments must prove extenuating circumstances that justify deviating from the guidelines, whether the guidelines be a specific percentage of a non-custodial parents net income or the based on the needs of the child.
A court may award too much child support based on inaccurate documentation provided by the custodial parent. Unfortunately, some primary caregivers are not honest about their income and assets when attempting to get child support. A non-custodial parent should obtain representation from an expert child support lawyer to protect their rights. By proving that income or savings is being hidden, he or she may be able to decrease the child support award.
Child support orders can be modified on a temporary or permanent basis. If the non-custodial parent loses a job or develops a temporary medical condition that affects earnings ability, support may be temporarily lowered. If this adult incurs a disability or is forced to take a lesser-paying job, a permanent adjustment may be in order.
A child support attorney can help a non-custodial parent determine whether the child support figure is too high. If it is, the attorney will build and present a case to lower this ongoing financial obligation on a temporary or permanent basis as warranted by filing their petition to modify child support. The non-custodial parent will pay a fair amount to support the child but no more than is necessary. Learning your child support rights is as easy as connecting with an attorney that provides a free consultation (they all do here!).