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How Much Child Support Should I Receive?

Couples legally dissolving their marriage must undergo many difficult steps as the divorce becomes final. With the help of a divorce attorney, or by going it alone, hard decisions must be made, and each one of them is filled with emotional turmoil. Child custody and visitation are some of the most difficult agreements to work out, the pressure is increased. Many divorcing couples have questions and concerns about child support – how much it should be, how much the child or children actually get, and for how long the arrangement remains active. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the considerations regarding child support payments.

Quality of Life Issues

When a couple has children and chooses to divorce, the courts hold the well-being and quality of the children’s’ live foremost in its considerations. Parents can often agree to equitable and effective child support terms, including amounts of support. When parents cannot make these agreements, the court will step in to ensure that the children’s’ emotional and financial needs are met by the final agreement.

Child Support Expenses

Typically, the non-custodial parent (the parent the children do not live with) provides financial support through monthly or annual child support payments. These payments are used to help provide critical items for the child or children’s use and can include items such as:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Child care expenses
  • School supplies
  • Medical care
  • Transportation
  • Class or school fees/activity fees
  • Housing costs

Both the parents and the courts want the children to be able to continue their lives as they were before the divorce. This can help alleviate any friction or problems as the children grow used to living in a one-parent household.

Judicial Determinations for Child Support Amounts

Many factors go into the child support agreement. There are both federal and state laws that may apply; on the federal level, the Federal Child Support Enforcement Act offers calculations based on the custodial parents’ situations. Each state has its own guidelines and rules as well.

In general, the divorce judge will look at factors like:

  • Any existing parental agreements
  • The ability of the non-custodial parent to pay child support, including employment history, salary, and financial assets
  • The number of children that will be affected by the divorce

Joint custody of the children may affect the amount of child support needed and the division of payment expectations. In order to ensure that children get the financial and emotional support they need during a divorce and in its aftermath, it can be beneficial to speak to a trusted divorce attorney such as the expert team at Sperling Law Firm.