Taking care of children is paramount in most parents’ minds and hearts. Whether they live together or apart, ensuring that their children’s needs are met should be a priority.
If you and your spouse or former partner split up, state laws provide a child support guideline that may help you get an idea of how much money their care will cost. Familiarize yourself with three elements that go into child support today.
1. What Are Basic Needs?
There are particular basic needs that the state takes into account when coming up with how much money a child should receive monthly. Some of these are spelled out by the state and others are rolled into the overall calculation. The state wants to ensure that a child’s healthcare needs are met appropriately. This means that not only should at least one parent carry insurance, but if there are recurring out of pocket expenses associated with the child’s health, both parents should split them. Daycare is also considered a basic need, and the parent who pays it will often receive a portion back either in money or a credit. The cost of food, housing, and clothing are wrapped in the primary child support obligation.
2. How Is Basic Support Obligation Calculated?
There is a table the state provides that sets out what it considers to be the basic financial obligation it takes to support children. On this table, a parent would first locate the number of children they have, and then their combined monthly net income. The figure is the starting point for all other calculations. The parent who makes the most will likely have to pay the other a proportionate share.
3. Are There Deviations?
The state will come up with the support obligation, and unless there is a request or proof of a deviation, one parent will be ordered to pay the other. However, if you and the other parent go through divorce court or use the court system to figure out custody and visitation, the child support stated in your court documents is what will be abided by. There may be an agreement between the parties that deviates from what the support calculation says is due. Reasons for this vary, but it is critical that you speak to an attorney if you feel the state’s number is not feasible.
Whether you are getting divorced, have been divorced, or are separating from a partner, a divorce lawyer can aid in child support calculation. It helps to have a knowledgeable advocate on our side when going through any state or court-mandated process. Contact an attorney, like a divorce attorney from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, for assistance.