Understanding The Truth Behind Some More Common Child Support Myths

Law Articles

If you have recently started the divorce process and have several children, then you may be concerned about the amount of child support you may receive from your spouse. This is a major concern for many people, especially if they are concerned about paying bills on time. While you may have a general idea about child support, you may also believe some common myths. Keep reading to learn about the truth behind a few so you can better understand what you may or may not be looking at in terms of money.

Myth - Child Payments Are A Set Percentage Of Income

While child support is often a specific and set amount based on income, the formula used to determine the child support amount is different depending on the state you live in. In most of the states across the country, something called an income shares model is used. The model takes into account the income of the non-custodial parent and the custodial parent. The income is compared to a chart, and a basic child support amount is determined. Emergency expenses, childcare, and medical expenses are also factored in and added to the base child support figure. When the amount of overall support is determined, the figure is cut in half or two-thirds of the value is figured out. This is the amount that the non-custodial parent will need to pay. 

Other states take a very basic percentage of the income figure to find out what the child support will be. In this case, only the non-custodial parent's income is taken into account and the percentage of this income is given to the custodial parent. Adjustments may be made with this amount based on unforeseen expenses and extras. 

In some situations, a percentage of income will be established and then adjusted based on the custodial parent's income. However, this type of hybrid between the two is rarely used.

While a formula is used to determine child support, the non-custodial parent can contest the amount and ask for a lowered support figure. Something called a hardship deduction can be applied as well. However, these deductions are only granted in situations where the non-custodial parent is facing some sort of large financial burden. For example, an unexpected hospitalization or illness may cause severe hardship that may make it extremely difficult or impossible to pay the entire child support amount. 

Myth - You Do Not Receive Child Support In Shared Custody Cases

Some people think that they will not receive child support if their spouse sees the children often. This is typically called a shared custody situation. However, there is almost always a custodial parent. The custodial parent is the individual who has the children the majority of the time. For example, if you have the children four days out of the week, then you are the custodial parent, even if custody is almost completely split down the middle. Custodial parents receive at least a small amount of money from the non-custodial parent. In this case, the amount of time that each parent has the child is used to determine the support payments. 

Also, if custody is shared, but one parent makes a good deal more money than the other, then the higher paying individual may need to pay child support to the other. This does depend on the state you live in. Speak with an attorney from a firm like Kelm & Reuter, P.A. to find out what kind of things are taken into account when child support is determined. 

You should also know that child support will not cover all the child's expenses, even if the non-custodial parent makes a good deal more money. The support is meant to assist the custodial parent, but both parents are financially responsible for the child. If you have stayed home with the children or do not work, then alimony or spousal support is what you need to ask the court for so that you have the financial support you need as well. Spousal support and child support are completely separate in the eyes of the court. 


23 May 2017

family law - impacting your life

Just as there are laws to protect us on the roads, there are laws to protect our families. Whether you are fighting for the right to see your children, or are in the beginning stages of a divorce, a lawyer can help. There are many laws and stipulations that can have a serious impact on the outcome of any family legal situation. Having a lawyer working at your side to get through a difficult time is the only way to ensure that your rights are fully protected. On this site, you will learn about some of the family laws that could be impacting your life today.