Child Support: What If You Do Not Agree With The Order?

Divorce is always a difficult time when children are involved. One of the most complex and emotional parts of getting a divorce is making decisions on child custody and child support. As you navigate these decisions, it is crucial that both parents know what their rights are. At some point, one or both of you may not agree with the decisions of the court, particularly when it comes to child support. If you are currently in this position, the following may be helpful:

What Is Child Support Used For?

Child support payments are ordered by the court. The payments are to be made by the non-custodial parent to the other parent to support the everyday needs of your children. The judge decides how much the payments will be based on the circumstances of both parents. The judge also will provide a payment schedule to both parents.

Money from child support payments is used to care for the children's essential needs, such as clothing, food, housing, transportation, and other expenses. If the children are involved in special activities, the judge may use the costs associated with the activities when making the decision on the monthly payment amount to help account for a portion of the child support payment.

How Much Should Child Support Be?

The judge will utilize a formula to determine monthly child support payments. The formula takes into consideration several factors from both parents. This includes the income of both parents, the assets of each parent, the number of children you have, and the costs associated with the typical daily care of your children. All child support cases are different, and the outcomes will vary.

What If You Do Not Agree with the Judge's Decision?

If either parent does not agree with the judge's decision in your child support case, there are some things you can do. Before you go back to court, talk about the outcome with your attorney. Your attorney may agree that the child support order is not adequate and could take the case back to the judge. At this time, you will go through a child support modification. During the modification, the judge will look at your case again to ensure all the information was complete and correct. If there are no major changes, a judge might stick with the current child support order. However, if major life events have occurred since your child support order was handed down, such as a salary increase or job loss, the judge will consider that information when making a new decision.

Keep in mind that you can file a child support modification at any time, not just after the initial decision. If either parent wants to seek a change in the child support order, you simply need to request a modification.

Contact a child support attorney for more information.