After a divorce in which children are involved, the court may grant custody to either party. However, it does not take parental responsibilities away from the other, and both parents are legally required to provide for the child.
Usually, the parent with physical custody receives some form of monetary support from the non-custodial parent. It is known as child support, meant to take care of the child’s needs such as food, education, shelter and clothing.
How much child support will you pay?
It depends on several factors besides your income, and each state has its formula for arriving at the amount of child support you are supposed to pay. For instance, Florida laws consider several things, such as the child’s health and care costs, among other special needs.
Other factors such as the child’s living standards before the separation or divorce and the parent’s ability to pay may be taken into account in determining child support.
Is a child support agreement legally enforceable?
A child support agreement created out-of-court is not legally binding unless a judge approves it. If there is no such agreement, a child support order given by a court compels one of the parents to provide upkeep for their child. Failure to do so may mean that they could be held to be in contempt of court.
Can you modify the amount of child support you are paying?
Yes. You and your partner could agree on reviewing the upkeep amount if your child support agreement was created out of court. However, if you both can’t find common ground, you’ll have to file a written request with the court for any modifications to be legally enforceable. If you provide compelling reasons why you think your child support amount should be reviewed, a judge will take that into account when settling on a new figure.
Knowing what is factored in when calculating the amount of child support will ensure that you are not flying blind and that your legal rights are protected.