What to Know About Child Support
Divorce is a difficult process, even if the former couple is able to be respectful and work together to find the best solutions. In many cases, children suffer the most during a divorce because their lives are turned upside down and they have no control over the circumstances. It is essential during a divorce involving children that their needs are met and that they continue to be cared for effectively. This is often accomplished through child support. If you are dealing with a divorce and need assistance with child support, the expert team at Bickford Blado & Botros can help.
What Is Child Support?
When a couple gets divorced, they must determine how their assets will be divided as fairly as possible. One thing that is also considered during this process is support for any children from the relationship. Parents are legally required to provide for their children’s needs until they are eighteen, regardless of whether the parents are married or not. In the case of divorce, this is accomplished through child support.
Child support is a set amount of money each month that one parent is required to pay. This money goes to support the child and provide for their needs, such as:
- Medical care
- Academic needs
This is done to ensure that the child can maintain their lifestyle throughout the divorce process and beyond.
Why Child Support Is Necessary
Child support is necessary because children must be provided for, regardless of the relationship between their parents. When a couple divorces, the entire family will experience significant changes to their social, emotional, and financial lives. This can be difficult for everyone to process. The loss of a sizable portion of income for the primary parent can make the transition more difficult. Child support is a way to ensure that the needs of the children are met after the divorce and that there is as little disturbance as possible in their lives.
Things to Consider When Planning Child Support
The primary concern when determining child support payments should be ensuring that the needs of the child or children involved are consistently met. There are many things that will be taken into consideration to ensure this happens. Most of the determining factors that are considered when calculating child support will fall into three categories:
- Child’s Best Interest. This is the most important thing to keep in mind when child support responsibilities are being calculated. The courts will take many different factors into consideration to determine how this can be met. A few key things will be how fit each parent is to care for the child, any medical needs the child may have, and the safest living arrangements.
- Parental Income. This is a key factor when calculating child support. Parents are responsible for providing financially for their children, but they can only work within their means. The non-primary parent’s total income, including money from their primary job and any additional income streams, will be considered when determining how much child support is necessary.
- Parental Responsibilities. Caring for children can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor, and not every parent is equipped to do it well. When child support is being calculated, the courts will assess how well each parent can handle the responsibilities of caring for their child. This can include factors such as housing arrangements, medical needs, and the child’s preferences.
Q: What Is the Average Cost of Child Support?
A: The amount of child support that is paid will be determined by a judge. They will consider:
- How much money each parent makes
- What other sources of income they may have
- What their average expenses are
- How much time each parent spends with the child
- What expenses the child has
When all these factors have been examined, a final decision will be made about how much child support a parent is required to pay.
Q: Why Is Child Support Necessary?
A: When a couple divorces, all their assets and property are divided as evenly as possible. The care and financial support of any children from the relationship is not included in that division process. Child support is necessary to ensure that any children from the relationship can maintain their lifestyle and have their needs met. One parent will likely be required to pay a certain amount in child support each month to provide for the basic needs of their child or children.
Q: How Is a Child’s Best Interest Determined?
A: Parents are legally responsible to provide for their children’s basic needs until the children are 18, regardless of their marital status. During a divorce, there are many factors that may go into determining the best interest of a child. The courts will look at what standard of living the child is used to, what childcare is necessary, if there are any medical expenses, and other similar factors. The best interest of the child is often determined by what will allow the child to maintain their standard of living.
Q: Can a Child Support Agreement Be Amended If Necessary?
A: Child support agreements are legally binding contracts, but they can be changed if the need arises. In some cases, a parent may lose a job or be forced to relocate for work and thus be unable to provide the same level of support that was expected of them. If something occurs that causes a major change in circumstances for the parent, they may qualify for modification. This will require going back to court and determining how much support the parent can now afford and what details of the child support agreement need to be amended.
Contact Bickford Blado & Botros
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a divorce, the needs of any children involved should always be the top priority. It is important that the children are provided for and can maintain the lifestyle that they are accustomed to. Determining the amount of child support that is required can be a difficult and confusing process, but the right guidance can make it more manageable. Contact Bickford Blado & Botros today for assistance in navigating your child support case.
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