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Parents Should Know These Six Things About Child Support

     The issue of child support comes up when you are getting a divorce or have separated from a partner with whom you share a child. Here are the most common child support questions parents have, and the answers that you need to know:

How do the courts calculate child support?

United States courts now use a generic table that calculates by taking into account takes the parent's income, the number of children, and the area cost of living. This table was meant bring uniformity in child support, so that one parent would pay close to the same amount as other parents in a similar situation.

Courts only sway from this formula when one parents is considerably wealthier than the other, or there are other mitigating factors that might justify a different amount. When a child has special needs would be one of these factors.

Should I determine my child support payments?

Before divorcing, you might want to sit down and calculate how much child support you will either be paying or receiving. Although the amount of support varies from state to state, you can find general guidelines on how child support is calculated by searching the web.

Are rates of child support different for different states and counties?

Many people don't realize that child support is also jurisdictional, and is set by the county in which children are living. This also means that if a custodial parent moves, his or her child support award can also change should either parent file for a re-adjustment. It may rise or fall substantially depending on the new area of residence. For example, a parent moving from California to Wyoming will see her award drop substantially if her Ex puts in for an adjustment, since the cost-of-living calculation is much lower in Wyoming.

What if the child support checks don't come?

Have you thought about how you will survive if the child support doesn't arrive? Only about 50-60% of child support awards are fully calculated, and even loving and responsible parents sometimes run into situations that leave them unable to pay. For example, if your former spouse looses a job, that could leave you without support for a long time, possibly a couple of years, while your Ex searches for a new job.

When your ex-spouse refuses to pay out of spite or other reasons, you can take him or her to court and have their wages garnished. However, this will take some time.

Will child support cover the cost of raising your kids?

As a general rule, you should not expect child support payments to fully recover the cost of raising children, or raise you to the same comfort level you enjoyed before the divorce. Child support is also limited by your former spouse's income and ability to pay, so if his or her income is low, it may only cover a portion of childrearing costs. It should also be noted that child support awards do not take into account things like college tuition, which parents will need to arrange for on their own.

If I have joint custody, will I still owe child support?

The answer to this question depends on your other circumstances. If one parent ears more than the other, the higher earning parent can still owe child support even if custody of the kids is shared at 50%.

Article Source:

Visit our website for more information on child support and learn how to talk to your kids about getting a divorce.  Follow us on Twitter @GCFparents.

Posted on 2014-03-11, By: *

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