In most states, the principle of child support is that both parents are required to contribute financially to the children’s well-being, even if they don’t live together. If you and your ex-partner are not able to come to an agreement about how much of your income should go toward child support, a family court judge will determine it for you. The judge will use a set of guidelines, which are specific calculations that are designed to be fair to both parties. It is important that you have a qualified and experienced child support attorney to help ensure that your child support payments are fair and reasonable.

Every state has its own child support laws and formulas, which are designed to take into account a number of factors that may affect the final amount paid or received. The basic guideline calculation is based on the combined income of both parents, and both actual and potential sources of income can be considered. In some cases, bonuses, commissions and overtime can be factored into the overall payment amount.

There are also additional adjustments that can be made to the basic guideline amounts based on things like private school tuition, extraordinary medical expenses and other circumstances that could not be adequately reflected in a simple mathematical formula. The amount of parenting time that a parent has with their children is also a key consideration for the judge, as it may impact what their actual monthly cost of living will be.

While the underlying policy behind child support is that both parents should share in the financial responsibility for their children, how the money is actually used by the parent receiving it is not generally tracked or monitored by the courts. That said, the non-custodial parent can be held in contempt of court if they do not make their required payments. The penalties for this can include wage garnishment, the attachment of assets, a revocation or suspension of the driver’s license and even jail.

The most common reason that a party to a child support agreement fails to meet their obligation is because they lost their job or suffered another significant change in their financial situation. The best way to prevent these issues is for both parents to keep in contact and regularly update their attorneys on changes in financial status. This will help ensure that the information available to the judge is accurate and the final child support obligation is a realistic reflection of both parties’ financial abilities.

At Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC, we have a team of dedicated family law attorneys who are prepared to work tirelessly to make sure your child support arrangements are fair and that your legal rights are protected. Don’t let a problem with child support cost you your freedom, your professional reputation or your ability to get the quality of accommodations that your children deserve. Reach out to us today for help with your case.

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