Child support is often a straightforward topic during divorce. When discussed in court, the judge indicates its details in the order, including the support’s amount and payment terms. Sometimes, child support can be a source of conflict between divorcing couples, especially if the amount’s basis seems unclear.
Fortunately, state law provides distinct guidelines to determine the child support amount. They help calculate a reasonable amount considering the child’s needs and the parent’s circumstances. However, specific factors can have an impact on the computation, including the following:
- Each parent’s earnings from employment or business ventures
- Monthly payments received by each parent from benefits
- Other forms of income, such as royalties, trust payments, annuities, etc.
- Costs for the child’s needs, including medical expenses and childcare
- Other necessities of the child, depending on their age and quality of life
The judge can use these considerations, but they can deviate based on the situation. Sometimes, the child could have a medical condition, leading to excessive medical bills. If so, the judge can consider lowering the support amount to accommodate this cost. Still, veering from the guidelines only happens as needed. The judge requires valid reasons to implement these adjustments.
Vital information when determining the child support amount
Child support can vary, but courts use facts to determine the appropriate amount. Ideally, the judge can use wage records to compute child support. However, specific circumstances can affect the decision-making process. If the child spends significant time with the supporting parent, they could reduce the support amount accordingly.
The judge can only decide if they have all the information to evaluate the family’s circumstances accurately. With these details, they could issue a child support order allowing parents to meet the child’s needs without going broke.