In divorce or legal separation cases involving children, it is important to ensure the child’s financial needs are met. A child support lawyer is experienced in advising parents on their legal responsibilities in this regard. If a parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, they can be subject to contempt proceedings which can lead to fines and jail time. If you are looking for a skilled Child Support Attorney, visit https://www.phoenixfamilylawyers.net/child-support/ for guidance and Free Consultation!
To determine the amount of child support to be paid, a court will use a mathematical formula which considers the parents’ income. The basic child support obligation covers food, shelter, clothing and other general expenses. There are also mandatory add-on costs such as daycare and health care.
The court will usually follow a state’s Child Support Guidelines in making this decision. However, the judge has discretion to deviate from these guidelines if certain circumstances are present. For example, a judge may choose to order more or less child support than what is provided for in the guidelines if the parties’ combined gross monthly income exceeds $20,000 per month, or if there are six or more children involved in the case.
Other factors may be considered as well, such as the physical condition of the child or the parenting time schedule of the custodial parent. The court can also order that the noncustodial parent contribute toward the child’s educational costs. Finally, the court may order that the noncustodial parent provide a share of health care costs for the child.
Some parents attempt to hide income in order to pay less child support than is appropriate. This practice is illegal and can result in fines or jail time. The best way to avoid this issue is for both parents to be open and honest with the court about their finances.
Can I Change an Existing Child Support Order?
As a rule, the court will not change an existing child support order unless there is a significant change in circumstance. Typically, this will require that the parents experience major changes in their income or the child’s financial needs.
In some situations, a court may decide that a parent’s income should be imputed (estimated based on their potential earning ability). An experienced family law attorney can help parents determine whether or not this strategy could benefit them.
When does child support end? Generally, a court will order that monthly support payments continue until the child reaches age 18, emancipates or graduates from high school, whichever happens first. The judge will set this date in the initial child support order. There are some rare instances where a judge may order that a child should continue to receive support after the age of 18. These situations would be reserved for very exceptional circumstances. A child Support lawyer can review the circumstances of your case and help you navigate this process.