Child custody is something that many parents have a hard time reaching an agreement with. During a divorce, emotions can take hold and start fights. The court may have to intercede on behalf of kids and make custody and visitation decisions in place of the parents. While this is not ideal, it is sometimes necessary. One of the elements of child custody that may keep a couple locked in a division is child support. Some couples may not like the way payments are determined. How is child support calculated, and does the person who receives it have any ongoing obligation to report where it is spent? Discover the answers to these questions and more.
Child Support Calculation
Child support is something that each state decides. Many states have income tables that help parents get an idea of how much they will be responsible for after a divorce. The calculations usually go by how much the parents make combined, who is responsible for medical and daycare payments, and who the children live with most of the time. The lifestyle in which the kids live is also taken into consideration as the court does not want children going from living in one extreme to another.
Spending Child Support
The parent who receives child support is under no obligation to provide proof to the other about how it is spent. It is intended to help pay for the child’s fair share of basic needs like shelter, food, and clothing. However, it can include the other parent’s share of extracurricular activities, cellphones, car insurance, and the like. Whatever amount the court decides is the obligation of the paying parent to provide.
Adjusting Child Support
If one parent needs to adjust the amount of child support, there is a modification process to follow. The payor may not agree with the kind of lifestyle the kids are living and thus want to adjust support up or down. Likewise, the payee may believe the other parent is making more money than previously and needs to pay more for the care of their children. The process for modification can dredge up bad feelings left from the divorce. If the adjustment is not approved, the party requesting it can go back once a specific period of time has passed.
Child support can make even the most level-headed parents frustrated. When two people cannot agree on how to proceed in paying for the needs of their children, a consultation with a child support lawyer, like a child support lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel J Wright, may be warranted.