How does the court determine child support?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | Divorce

The responsibility you and your ex have towards your children does not end after divorce. Taking good care of children is costly, and sometimes we cannot afford those expenses on our own, which is why child support orders exist. The total amount that a parent will have to pay for the child’s needs will depend on the overall circumstances of the marriage.

The decision of the court

The court will divide the child support obligation between both parents. To make a fair decision, the court will first consider the amount of time the child spends with the parents. The formula the court will use to determine the economic responsibility of each parent will depend on whether it is a sole or shared custody case. Besides that, the court will look at the following factors to determine child support:

  • Each parent’s gross income
  • The cost of medical insurance
  • The cost of childcare for the children
  • Any other child support the non-custodial parent is paying

The court may also determine child support based on the actual needs of the children if one parent proves that the application of the standard guidelines would be unfair in their case. Also, if a parent does not have a job, the court will calculate child support based on a determination of their potential income.

What expenses are included in a child support order?

Child support includes the child’s health insurance coverage and their medical, educational, travel and childcare expenses. The court will set the amount of the childcare expenses based on the family experience. Childcare expenses may also increase if the child has special needs or attends a private school.

Termination and modification

As a parent, you will need to pay for child support until your child turns 18, becomes self-supporting or gets married. You also have the right to ask for a modification if you think that the order is unfair or if your circumstances change over time. If you have problems with your child support order, it would be in your best interest to seek legal representation in court. That way, you will get assurance that both you and your ex are paying a fair amount to cover your child’s needs.