Posted on: 7 June 2017
Child support orders are both simple and complex. They're simple because you can expect to be ordered to make payments to the custodial parent or guardian of your child, and complex because there are quite a few variables involved in how much you may be ordered to pay. Here are two important things you need to know about how child support payments are calculated so you can properly prepare your finances.
Payments May Be Based on Income Potential
When determining how much child support a person is to pay, the court will primarily look at the parent's current wages. In some cases, though, the judge may also consider how much income the parent could earn based on his or her skills, previous employment, and/or future employment prospects.
For instance, you cut back on your hours at your job to go back to school. Even though you're only working part-time to accommodate your classes, the court may calculate your support payments based on your full-time hours because that's how much you can make if you change your employment status.
This may seem unfair. However, the court does this to prevent parents from trying to pay less than they should by quitting their jobs, taking lower paying work, or cutting their hours and then earning money in other untraceable ways.
If the judge calculates your child support order in this manner, it may be possible to object to the amount by providing a compelling reason why you're not able to earn as much as you did. If you developed a disability, for instance, you could show you don't have the physical stamina to work as many hours.
You Must Pay Year Round
Many paying parents erroneously believe that, they only need to pay child support to the other parents for the months the kids live with their exes, especially if they have joint custody of the children. That's not necessarily true.
First, the money you pay is for the benefit of the children and to help the other parent maintain a household for them to live in. Second, the court typically calculates the support order to account for the time when the children are with you. For example, if you have custody of the kids 4 months out of the year, the court will calculate 8 months of child support and spread it over 12 months.
Additionally, anything you purchase for the kids do not offset your financial obligation. You may buy the kids' school clothes and supplies for the year, but you still have to pay your child support as agreed, for instance.
For more information about these issues or help with your custody case, contact a divorce attorney, like Bray & Johnson Law Firm.Share