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What key factors affect child support payments?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Child Support

For any parent going through a divorce, establishing the right foundations to secure their children’s financial needs and stability is undoubtedly their top priority. Child support is not just a financial obligation. It is a crucial tool that ensures parents meet their child’s basic needs consistently, even when the family no longer lives in the same household. 

Whether you are on the cusp of separating from your spouse or looking to adjust an existing arrangement, understanding the ins and outs of child support can empower you to make better decisions for your children. 

Income of both parents

Child support calculations start with looking at both the parents’ income. During this process, the court will prioritize fairness and ensure that your child benefits from both parents’ earnings, just like they would even if the marriage did not end. 

Parenting time

The custody arrangement is crucial in determining child support payments, specifically the time the child spends with each parent. If one parent has sole or primary custody, the noncustodial parent typically pays more in child support. This is to reflect the fact that the custodial parent is incurring most of the daily expenses. On the other hand, if the parents have joint custody of the child, the support amount might be lower to distribute the costs evenly.

Child care and medical costs

Child support is supposed to cover all facets of a child’s upbringing, including child care and ongoing medical expenses. If you need child care so you can work, the court will factor it into the support calculations. The payment can also cover extraordinary medical expenses, such as those not protected by insurance.

The goal of child support is to maintain the child’s standard of living to the best extent possible post-separation or divorce. It ensures that the child still has access to both parents’ financial resources, thus minimizing the impact of the divorce on the child. Knowing the factors that help determine child support payments can be your first step toward protecting your child’s well-being and financial health for years to come.