Alimony and Child Support

Child support—both mothers and fathers have issues with understanding the laws and ways in which it must be paid.  More often than not it is difficult to sort out who is owed what and how it needs to be paid.  Add in the fact that many child support laws haven’t been re-written in decades, and you’ve got a situation that is confusing to many attorneys—let alone those not trained in the law.

How Much Child Support is Supposed to be Paid?

In many instances, child support breaks down into a simple formula that will be determined by statute.  Depending on how many children you have, for the most part, a percentage of your net income (the amount after you pay taxes that you actually receive in your paychecks) will be owed to the custodial parent (the parent where the child(ren) live most of the time).  This is not true in all instances though, as the needs of the child are determined to be the primary factor in paying child support.

For example, in a state such as Illinois, child support would be calculated at 20% of the noncustodial parent’s net income for 1-child.  However, if a person makes little to no money, they will still be ordered by the court to pay some reasonable amount of money to help support that child.  Furthermore, should the noncustodial parent make millions of dollars a year, that person may not necessarily have to pay a true 20% of his or her net income to the custodial parent because a judge would realize that a child does not need hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to live in a safe environment.

Other states, such as Florida, do not start out with a base amount of support that is needed to be paid to the custodial parent.  In states like Florida, the amount is determined on many factors that all influence what the judge determines is in the “best interest of the child.”  Such factors in states that follow this method include, but are not limited to:

  • Extraordinary medical, psychological or educational needs of the child;
  • Income of the child;
  • Variations of parents income based on the season; or
  • Any other relevant or extraordinary circumstance.

How To Get Help With Child Support

Following a divorce or separation, parents are required to provide child support to their children. This obligation stands whether or not parents were legally married at the time the relationship broke down. Establishing child support is an important part of the divorce or separation proceedings, and understanding your responsibilities and rights as a parent can help you to make smart choices for yourself and your children. We can help guide you in learning how to get help with your child support question or issues, as well as helping you know how much you can expect to pay in child support payments based on your situation.

Child support may seem to be a straight-forward issue, as the child support guidelines set out how much child support is payable for a person’s income and the number of children. However there are a number of disputes that can arise. If you are in need of help or advice for your child support situation, having your particular child support case evaluated free online through us can help you get the answers and help you are seeking about how much your child support payments should be.

How Child Support Issues Can Arise

The amount of income someone earns can be in dispute in many child support cases. This is especially for parents who gain their income in the following common examples:

• self-employed people
• people with a significant amount of investment income
• people paid by commission
• people who are paid in cash
• people whose income fluctuates, and
• people paid in non-traditional ways such as through stock option

To get started on for us showing you how to get help for a child support case, we need to start at the very beginning with knowing the details of your particular situation. This will help determine whether child support even needs to be paid in some circumstances. The first question people ask is, “Do I have to pay child support?” Without hesitation, if you are the non-custodial parent or if your child does not reside primarily with you, then by law, you are required to pay child support. The law views child support to be a right of your children, and It is not considered a right of the parents. The child support money to be paid is intended to be there to contribute to your children’s care and maintenance.