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August 04, 2019

3 Things You Should Know about Divorce and Child Support

Posted in Uncategorized

Family Lawyer Rockville, MD

When children are involved, divorce is especially tricky. Not only are you dividing up the property and assets, but you also have to divide up your time and financial support of your children. Divorcing parents’ custody battles can be emotionally difficult, but adding in a financial component makes them especially hard. Here are three things you should know about divorce and child support.

Why you need to pay child support

Regardless of whether you and your spouse are married or not, the reality is that your child costs money. They need housing, clothes, food, education, entertainment, and transportation, just to name a few things. As a parent, you know that children are not cheap. Because of this, it’s unreasonable to put the entirety of the financial burden on the parent who wins the majority of custody. 

Each parent is financially required to help raise their child, regardless of their financial situation. 

How child support is calculated 

Every state is different when it comes to calculating child support. Ultimately, the judge determines the result of child support decisions and therefore are able to deviate from the state guidelines as they see fit. Each child support case is different and it’s important to know what you are legally responsible for in your state. 

Generally, there are two types of models to calculate child support. The income shares model is the model that is most commonly used throughout the United States. This model is where the costs to raise the child are proportionately divided up based on each parent’s income. For example, if it costs $1,000 a month to raise the child and the father makes $70,000 a year and the mother makes $30,000 a year, then the father would be responsible for $700 a month and the mother $300. This model is based off of what would be assumed each parent would be responsible for if they still lived together. 

The percentage of income model takes only the income of the parent who does not have majority of custody and determines a percentage based on the rules of the state. For example, if we use our example above, and include a state rule of 18%, the father would be required to pay $1,050 per month in child support. 

You are able to update your child support amounts

At any time, you are able to petition the court to update your child support amount. This could be due to a change in income (higher or lower), or where there is some other special circumstance where the amount of child support would need to be changed. Both parties need to agree in writing that the change is taking place in order for it to be valid. 

Because there are so many moving pieces and regulations around child support, it’s important to see a family lawyer in Rockville, MD from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright when finalizing your divorce and child support amounts. Rules and guidelines are dependant upon the state and also the judge who is ruling over your case, so you need to know what your rights are as a parent and how much you can expect to pay in child support after your divorce is finalized. 

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