Every parent has an obligation to support their child. In what form that support is provided, and how much, can be an issue of serious contention between parents.
Non-custodial parents are required by law to pay a monthly allowance, or child support, to help the custodial parent cover their child's expenses. This is true whether the parents are still married, divorced, or never married. A support order can be enforced even if the paying parent moves to another state.
The family court issues child support orders either as part of a divorce or after a custodial parent seeks support and it’s shown the other party is also a parent of the child. The amount of support is based on state child support guidelines. These guidelines are generally based on the non-custodial parent's income and the number of children. A judge may also consider the custodial parent's income and the children’s needs.
A judge can deviate from these guidelines if there are significant reasons for doing so, though this is relatively rare. Child support can be increased if circumstances have changed, such as an increase in the payer's income, the cost of living, a decrease in the custodial parent's income, or an increase in the child's needs. There may also be a reduction if the circumstances justify the reduction.
If you’re a custodial parent and need help getting child support from the other parent, or if you’re a noncustodial parent who wants to challenge or change a child support order, contact The Bloom Firm today. We can discuss the situation, applicable laws, and how we can protect your rights and represent your interests in a child support process.