Divorce can be a very complex, emotional, and distressing time for any person who thought they would be with their partner for life. And to add more pain on top of that, during the divorce process both spouses will have to negotiate over various other topics such as child custody, child support, division of assets, and much more. The parents have the choice of arranging a child custody schedule between themselves, but if they are unable to, a court judge will decide for them. Once child custody has been established, then the next discussion will be about child support.
The family court system usually necessitates that one parent pays child support, so the parent with custody isn’t primarily responsible for funding the child’s needs. The court makes decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child, along with what will help ensure they have a quality of living.
Calculating Spouse’s Share in Child Custody
It isn’t easy to calculate how much should be paid in child support, especially since the laws can vary by state. Each state has guidelines that help judges decide what should be paid in child support during and after the divorce. When appropriate, the judge can deviate from this outline when they see fit.
Parents do have the chance, in most cases, to agree upon child support terms together and then have the court sign off on the agreement. However, doing so can be challenging since divorce can cause resentments to build up, in which neither parent will be openly willing to provide money to the other. But, parents must remember that the money is actually going to their child, and cannot be used frivolously by the recipient parent.
When Child Support May Be Modified
Payments that must be made in child support are often based on how much each parent makes, the number of children they have, and how much time each parent spends with their children. The court may also factor in spousal support obligations, who pays for health insurance, education, school-related expenses, and childcare when calculating child support.
There may come a time when the circumstances in either parent’s life has drastically changed, requiring the need for child support modification. Unless there is a clause in the child support agreement that states neither parent can request modification, adjusting the payments may be possible, if any of these variables apply:
- Significant decrease or increase in a parent’s income
- Increase in the child’s needs
- The non-custodial parent has remarried
- Either parent has received a large inheritance
- The paying parent has lost his or her job
- The recipient spouse has remarried
If you are currently going through a divorce and need support as you seek child support from your ex-spouse, don’t hesitate to get legal assistance. An attorney can offer representation, guidance, strategy, and advice. Many reputable law firms offer free consultations, so there’s nothing to lose in finding out more information before committing. Consider reaching out to an attorney, like a family law attorney in Fairfax, VA, near you today.
Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP, for their insight and expertise in family law.