Divorce is an emotional time, especially for your children. Dealing with child support and custody is vitally important but is also emotionally taxing. Still, both parents need to be keenly aware of their rights during the process of negotiating child support. If you do not agree with your child support order or if you do not think the amount decided by the judge is fair, here are some things you need to know:
Why Is Child Support Necessary?
Child support is court-ordered payments made by the non-custodial parent to help support the needs of your children. A judge will determine how much one parent pays the other in child support and will set a child support payment schedule. Once the court-ordered is handed down, the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent on the scheduled payment date.
The money is used by the custodial parent to care for the minor children you share. This money can be used for food, clothing, medical expenses, upkeep of their home, transportation, school supplies, and a myriad of other necessary expenses.
What Amount of Child Support Should Be Paid?
As you move through the process in court, the judge will determine the amount the custodial parent should receive. There are formulas a judge can utilize to make this determination, but the final amount boils down to a few important factors, such as each parent's income levels, their assets, how many children they have, and the expenses associated with the children's essential care and overall well-being. Each child support case is unique, but a judge will decide how much one parent pays the other in a way that is fair for everyone.
What If the Child Support Amount Is Not Fair?
If you are not satisfied with the amount of child support ordered in your case, you have some options. The first thing to do is discuss the issue with your attorney to see if it is worth going back to court. If your attorney agrees that your child support order is not fair, you can request a modification. At this time, a judge will reevaluate both parent's financial information and any changes that may have occurred since you were in court. If, for instance, the non-custodial parent suddenly receives a large increase in salary and the custodial parent believes they should receive more in child support, the custodial parent can return to court for a modification. If a non-custodial parent loses a job and cannot pay child support payments, they will need to return to court as well. To learn more, contact a child support lawyer.