When a relationship breaks up and the couple parts ways, the children of the relationship should be considered. The law dictates that one party shall pay child support, in most cases, but that may not be necessary in other cases. The way child support is addressed depends on the exact situation and can depend on the custody arrangement, the couple's financial situation, and more. Read on for a better idea of how those two issues can affect child support.
Financial Considerations and Child Support
In most cases, the parent who makes the most money is ordered to pay child support. The amount ordered is based on the income of the paying party and is set by state standards. Each state has a median income and, from this number, the amount of child support is set. Curious divorcing parents can get a ballpark child support estimation by using an online calculator. It should be mentioned that, in rare cases, the custodial parent is ordered to contribute the lion's share of support if they are very wealthy.
In addition to paying child support, the parent charged with the responsibility of paying for the health insurance of the minor child will be addressed. Temporary orders during the separation and permanent orders upon the final decree address other financial considerations and are open to future alterations. For example, a special needs child, daycare expenses, and other unique factors can be addressed along with child support.
Child Custody Considerations and Child Support
If the parents are not living apart, child support is not necessary. This might happen if the parents remain in the same household for a time after the relationship ends. This also means that when they do move apart, one parent may be primarily responsible for the physical care of the minor child. When one parent has sole physical custody of the child, child support should be ordered. Parents don't always choose this form of custody, however:
- Joint custody – This confusing term refers to one party taking full physical custody of the child while the other parent has visitation and pays child support.
- Shared custody – This term is when both parents share 50/50 custody of the child. Child support is not always ordered for shared custody as long as the parents can agree on sharing the costs as well as the child.
Speak to your child support lawyer to learn more about child support.