Child Support and Divorce
Divorce, even in the best-case-scenarios, is still an incredibly hard decision. Whether your spouse was abusive during your marriage or whether you and your spouse have both chosen to end your marriage amicably, it is still a legal process that takes time and money to go through and likely involves many emotions built up over several years. When children are involved, however, this can complicate things as the court needs to make decisions regarding child support. In fact, when a marriage ends in divorce and there are children involved, it is mandatory for a court to decide: who is required to pay, how often they pay, and how much they pay. If you are going through a divorce or will soon be serving your spouse with divorce papers and you have children together, speak with a considerate attorney. They can help you with the paperwork, the filing, and answer any questions you have on the child support process during and after a divorce.
Who decides child support during a divorce?
When you go to court, the judge will likely be the one determining child support for your specific situation. Each state has its own formula for a court to work with when establishing the amount paid in child support, but it typically relies on circumstances like:
- How much each parent makes
- How many children there are
- How much time each parent spends with their children
- The potential amount of money that each parent can make.
Additionally, a court will likely consider other factors when determining child support, including whether the children will need outside child care, if any of the children have special educational or medical needs, and the travel expenses required when going to and from each parent.
Is it possible to come to a decision on child support without a judge?
Yes and no. Ultimately, the judge in your divorce proceedings is the one who establishes and confirms the amount of child support in the divorce paperwork. That said, if both parents acknowledge their rights under state law regarding how much child support should be given and they both agree on a certain number for child support because it is in the best interest of the children, a judge can set that amount as the child support.
After child support has been established, can it be modified?
Yes. A certain amount of money may make more sense at one point than at another. For example, the father may give $1,200 a month in child support to his ex-spouse for their children because she does not have the means to get a job. If her circumstances change (such as finding a job), the father can petition the court for a change in child support to reflect her ability to bring in income.
If you are going through a divorce and need help establishing child support for your family, please contact a family law attorney as soon as possible.