If you are a parent involved in divorce proceedings, there are several things you must consider regarding child support. Whether you seek support or anticipate an order to pay support, you need to understand your rights and do your best to protect your child’s welfare. What are the most important considerations regarding child support?
Several Factors are Taken into Account when Calculating Child Support Payments.
One of the most common concerns regarding child support is how payments are calculated. Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, you should understand how the court calculates support payments in your case. All forms of income are taken into account. There is also a minimum payment required, even if a parent is unemployed.
The Child Support Standards Act sets forth the amount of child support paid and ensures that the child support awards are fair and consistent. Currently, the child support percentage is set forth as follows:
- 1 child = 17%
- 2 children = 25%
- 3 children = 20%
- 4 children = 31%
- 5+ children = at least 35%
The percentages are applied to all earnings up to $136,000 less certain deductions.
Child Support Payments Can Change Over Time
Certain circumstances can change the number of payments. For example, once a child reaches 21 years of age, child support is no longer required. However, the court can also change the amount before the child ages out. Typically, changes that increase child support payments are done based on the child’s needs. For instance, if the child requires medical care, the non-custodial payment will be ordered to contribute to the cost.
Child support payments can also change if a parent’s job changes. If you cannot make current payments because your income has changed, the court may reduce the amount of the payments. Your payments might also change if your income increases.
You Must Keep the Best Interest of Your Child in Mind
Regardless of how complex the divorce proceedings might be, it would be best if you keep your child’s well-being first in your mind. For example, if your soon-to-be-ex-spouse requests more money for child support and the court deems it necessary, do not hold it against your child. Likewise, do not use your child against your spouse if you are the custodial parent. Your goal is to provide for your child and ensure they have everything needed for a safe, fulfilling life.
If you are considering divorce or you have questions about child custody issues in your divorce, contact the Law Office of Anthony J. LoPresti at (516) 252-0223 for more information.