During a divorce that involves children, one issue that must be determined is child support. You may wonder if you are entitled to receive child support or if you must pay it.
Knowing some of the factors that impact child support amounts can help you know what to expect.
How do various issues factor into the decision?
Child support depends on if one parent has sole custody or if the parents are given joint custody. If one parent has sole custody, then the other parent will likely be ordered to pay child support. With joint custody, child support obligations are based on what each parent earns, their financial situation and how much time the child spends with each parent.
While child support is determined on a state level, there are also federal guidelines that must be followed. Some of the factors that are considered when determining child support payments include:
- Child’s financial needs such as insurance, daycare, education and special needs
- Parent’s income and needs
- The paying parent’s ability to pay child support
- The child’s standard of living before the divorce
Is it possible to change a child support order?
In some situations, you can modify a child support order. Usually, this requires you to show proof of a significant change in your life that qualifies you to make this change. You must go to court and have it approved before altering the prior order.
Understanding your rights when determining child custody
Both parents have rights when it comes to child custody. However, the courts will be focused on the best interests of the children involved and ensuring they are taken care of. Knowing your legal rights and options can help you better understand how child support payments are calculated.