Child support is a form of payment intended to support and meet the needs of the child(ren) in the event that the parents are divorced, separated, or unmarried. It is typically considered to be in the best interest of any child to have the financial support of both parents. Likewise, it is typically considered good public policy to require parents to effectively support their children to keep them from becoming wards of the state or otherwise. In many cases, child support is even ordered when the parent does not have contact with the child(ren).
Support is paid by one parent or the other. Several factors are considered by the Court in determining support amounts, including how much each parent earns, how many nights per year the children spend with each parent, child care expenses, medical insurance and other variables.
Child support is designed to cover costs for the basic necessities, including food, clothing, and shelter.
Other expenses may still require contributions from the parents in addition to any child support paid, such as:
Medical careUninsured medical expensesEducational fees and school supply costs ChildcareTransportation and travelExtracurricular activitiesCollege expenses
If you hope to modify your current child support, you will need to prove that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred since the original order was issued. The change must result in a change of at least 10% in the amount of child support owed. What courts determine as substantial varies depending on state law, but the family law experts at our firm can help you traverse those requirements. At any rate, the following may be grounds for a modification:
A change in your child’s medical needsAn illness or disability of the paying parentA substantial change in either parent’s income A change in the child’s residence