What Determines Child Support Payments In A Divorce?

When settling a divorce with children involved, a common question is how child support will eventually be determined. It will be concerning for a parent that wants custody and is worried about if they'll get the support they need. It can also be concerning to the non-custodial parent, since they'll need to be able to afford the payments. Know that child support will be determined by these factors.

The Age of the Child

It's common for very young children to have parents that divide up the caretaking. One parent usually works while the other stays at home to take care of the children. Unfortunately, this is not as easy to do when parents are divorced. It will require both parents to work in order to maintain separate households.

This is why child support payments will be higher for children that are at a younger age where they need someone to care for them full time. With the ideal situation being that one parent stays home, they will need extra support to make up for them not having an income. Even if the child is attending daycare, the additional costs of childcare could be a wash with the additional money needed for a parent that stays at home.

Once a child is old enough to start attending school and the custodial parent can go back to work, the child support payments can be adjusted.

The Way Custody is Divided

When children are older, many parents decide to split custody between the two of them. You may decide on a split that is approximately 80%/20%, meaning one parent has custody on alternating weekends, as well as some additional days for holidays and summer vacation.

When custody time changes, so does the child support that is owed. A judge will help recalculate the child support based on your situation and how long the children will be with each parent.

The Standard of Living

Even if custody will be split down the middle, the standard of living of each parent will be factored into support payments. The goal will be to make sure that each living situation is equal. If one parent's standard of living is a bit lacking due to their job, more child support will be required by the other parent.

For more information on how child support will be determined, speak with a family lawyer in your area, such as Haslam & Thorne, LLP. They can help fight on your behalf to ensure that payments are fair.