Who Pays Child Support And How Much Will It Be? What To Know

Parents of minor-aged children are very likely to deal with the child support issue among many others. Read on and find out more about the when, who, and how much of child support.

When Is Child Support Ordered?

Child support is not one of the issues that parents may decide upon. A mix of state and federal laws govern child support. For example, each state oversees child support for residents but when a parent absconds to a new state with the intention of not paying child support, federal law steps in and makes it their jurisdiction to locate and hold the parent responsible.

Custody can affect child support matters. When one parent is the primary caregiver, they may be awarded physical custody of the child. The other parent is awarded visitation. Child support is usually ordered in that instance. However, some parents share physical custody of the child 50/50 and thus they might also be expected to share the financial responsibility in equal shares.

Who Is Ordered to Pay Child Support?

Support is ordered based on custody, but it's also based on parental income. Even when parents share custody 50/50, one parent may have a larger income than the other. The parent who makes the most money is almost always the one who is ordered to pay child support. Income is not just how much money the parent makes at a job, however, other forms of financial payments are also counted. That can include:

  • Rent money from a property.
  • Bonuses and commission checks.
  • Government benefits like Social Security.
  • Gambling winnings.

How Much Is Owed for Child Support?

Child support is based on several factors. Income is just one, and many states add up both parents' income and use a complex formula to decide how much goes toward child support. It's also frequently based on each state's median income. During the divorce process, both parties are required to submit extensive financial information to their lawyers, and those documents form the basis for what the court ends up ordering.

Not only income but assets must also be disclosed so that child support, and, in some cases spousal support, may be calculated accurately. In most cases, child support amounts can be altered if the parent shows good cause. For instance, a parent who is making a lot more money now than at the time of the original order may be ordered to pay more.

If you have more questions about divorce law, speak to your divorce lawyer.