Divorce is a contentious process in most cases, and when child support is a determination, it can add to the stress and the time it takes to finalize the end of the marriage. Whether you will be the primary or the non-custodial parent, you may have questions about the process of determining the child support terms. It’s important to have an understanding of how much you may have to pay, or can expect to receive in support of your child. A family lawyer, like from Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols, assists clients in many ways, not the least of which is guiding them through the legal process and understanding what to expect in terms of the agreement ordered by the Judge. In addition, a child support lawyer will represent your child’s needs to the court, ensuring that they will not be forgotten even in the most contentious of divorces.
What is a child support agreement?
The family court (or divorce court) judge will consider the arguments from both parent’s child support lawyers in determining an agreement that the judge deems fair and which reflects the financial and other needs of the child. The goal is to financially obligate each parent sufficiently that their combined contributions will enable the child to as much as possible maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed prior to the breakup of the parents. The judge should have an understanding that maintaining two separate households will likely be more expensive than maintaining the combined original household, but the sacrifices that are necessary moving forward should be made by the parents, and not the child. In other words, the judge will have little sympathy for a parent who says they cannot meet their child support obligations because they must make payments on their boat or luxury vehicle.
What expenses is a child support agreement likely to include?
Each child support agreement is different, because it reflects the individual and unique needs of the child and the parents’ situation. However, most agreements include at least the basics of the child’s cost of living, including the following:
· A portion of the rent or mortgage for the home where the child primarily lives.
· The costs for adequate clothing.
· School costs that may include books, miscellaneous school supplies, school trips, food purchases at the school cafeteria, etc.
· Medical treatment, dental and physician checkups, etc.
· Daycare and/or other childcare needs, particularly if the primary custodial parent works and is unable to watch the child when the child is out of school.
· After School programs such as extracurricular activities.
· Tutoring, if necessary.
· Additional needs as determined by the primary custodial parent’s lawyer.
Discuss your case with a child support lawyer by calling a law office today.