Can the Amount of Child Support Change?
Child support is calculated when parents no longer live together. It applies to any couple who share children, including those who have never legally wed.
Life events through the years may require the adjustment of child support to go up or down. Is this done through the court or between the parents? Take a look at how a child support modification often comes about, and some of the reasons why people seek them.
Who Gets Child Support?
Parents need to be able to take care of their children, even when they are no longer together. States offer child support services to help calculate and receive payments from the parent who is required to pay. How do you know which parent should be paying child support? The easy answer is that the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the children should be providing financial support to the one who does. Even if a couple shares legal custody of the children, only one receives the primary parent designation. This also means that this person’s address is the one that dictates school zoning.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Each state has its own guidelines for calculating child support. However, the same information is typically required to get started. First, the income of both parents is required. Next, the amount of child care and medical insurance/care for the children is credited to the person who pays it. For instance, if one parent carries medical insurance and pays daycare, then that parent gets credit for that, and the other parent must reimburse their proportionate share. Many states have a table that gives the basic child support amount they believe children need. Depending on each parent’s wages, they are assigned a proportionate share of that support obligation. Once a baseline is established, the state may take into account the number of days a parent has physical custody of the children. If they both share in this equally, the payment may be very low or non-existent.
What Necessitates a Change?
States have baseline adjustments that need to be met before they consider a modification. For example, Florida will not adjust the amount of child support up or down unless it is greater than a 15% change. Getting a modification may require submitting paperwork through the state or the court system. Sometimes, a parent needs an adjustment due to a change in job or financial situation. Other times, the cost of a child’s care may increase due to a health problem.
When seeking a child support modification, it is a good idea to contact a family lawyer for assistance. While it is not required, it may be beneficial to look for family lawyers from a firm like The McKinney Law Group.