Divorce and child support

Facts to consider

  • Divorce and child support will never end the legal obligation for child support. Each parent, although separated, still retains a legal responsibility to provide adequate support until the child reaches the age of emancipation. Within divorce and child support, the legal duties of support are based upon the needs of the child in conjunction with the abilities of the parents as dictated by income and assets owned.
  • The courts generally focus on income after taxes, and support is rarely the sole responsibility of the non-custodial parent, because it is understood that the main job of the custodial parent is to provide a sufficient household.
  • Divorce and child support is an effort to obtain fair distribution of financial responsibility, to enable the children to live in a manner similar to what existed before the divorce. There are many different variables to be taken into consideration, and it must be remembered that all situations are unique.
  • The one common denominator all parents should have is the desire to provide for “the best interests of the child ”. As in a custody battle, the court will have the final say in all matters. Thus, again, an out of court agreement (e.g. mediation is often the best measure to guard against the unexpected. The court makes the final decision, thus assumes full responsibility in order to permanently safeguard the child against acute or chronic feelings of guilt.

Child support decisions

In divorce, child support does not have to be decided by the court. A pre-trial agreement is often awarded by the court. Otherwise the court will refer to state guidlines to determine the amount of support.

It is each parent's responsibility to explain any and all circumstantiating unique situations to the respective attorneys. If this does not take place the needs of the child are not reached, and the child becomes a victim.

It is the job of the parents, with the help of their attorneys, to iron out a reasonable agreement.

An agreement reached prior to trial is almost always a more successful one, because it is the parents who best understand the specific needs and capabilities of the family members.

When negotiating divorce and child support issues with your attorney and/or opposing party, keep in mind these factors that the judicial system takes into consideration:

  • The quality of lifestyle the child would have most likely experienced had the divorce not taken place.
  • The financial resources of each parent and that of the child's.
  • The age and health of each parent.
  • The income and earning capabilities of each parent.
  • The willingness both parents demonstrate to allow visitation.
  • The impact on each parent maintaining two households.
  • The child's educational needs, higher education not withstanding.
  • The age and health of the child.
  • The possibility of the child obtaining employment.
  • The tax liabilities of each parent.
  • The desire on the part of each parent to have sole or joint custody.
  • The employment stability and potential of each parent.

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