Floyd County, IN Child Support Attorneys
There are a lot of misconceptions about child support. It is not automatically paid by fathers to mothers. (Some mothers pay fathers.) It is not a payment to the other parent. (It is a payment to the child.) One parent cannot unilaterally decide that the other parent’s child support money is not needed or wanted. (It is the child’s right to receive it.) It does not cover every conceivable expense related to child-rearing. (It covers shelter, clothing, and food.) It is none of the paying parent’s business exactly how the receiving parent spends it. (As long as the child has a roof over her head, clothes on her back, and food in her stomach, the money is being spent appropriately.)
Any time money is involved, disputes will arise. The paying parent believes the weekly child support payment is too high. The receiving parent thinks it is too low. Who is going to buy the winter coat? Who is going to pay for baseball? Why does Mom have to pay the co-pay if Dad is insuring the kids? Why is child support being withheld from my paycheck? We can not only answer all of those questions (and more), but also make sure you have a clear understanding from the beginning of how child support works.
Child support – the amount, who is paying it, and the division of other expenses – is calculated using an application provided by each state’s court system. It can be quite complicated, much like preparing your taxes. Specific factors are considered and are part of the “formula”: gross weekly income of each parent, whether a parent is already paying child support for prior born children, which parent is covering the children’s health insurance (and at what cost), which parent is paying childcare costs (and the amount), and the number of overnights each parent has with the children.
After entering all of this information, the application provides a weekly dollar amount, and designates which parent is paying. While this is technically a “recommended” amount, it is almost always applied by the courts. Parents can agree on a variation, but must convince the court that it is reasonable. Courts can also decide on their own that a variation is in order. Every situation is different, and we can help you navigate the process to find the number that is appropriate for your case.
Everyone has heard the term “deadbeat dad.” Know that there are “deadbeat moms” as well. No matter which parent you are, if you are ordered to pay child support and you fail to do so, the state will pursue you. Almost every county in every state has a branch of the prosecutor’s office dedicated to child support enforcement. The courts can impose sanctions for nonpayment of child support, from wage garnishment to jail time. Your income tax refund might never make it to you.
A child support order is not set in stone. It can and should be modified when circumstances change significantly: either parent begins making much more or much less than when the order was entered, custody changes significantly, a child becomes emancipated, a different parent starts covering health insurance, etc.
It is the child’s right to receive financial support from both parents. The courts take that right seriously, and we can help you with every step of the process – from instating it to enforcing it.