Going through a divorce can be just as tough on your children as it is on you – if not more so. The truth of the matter is that you have certain obligations as a parent, whether or not you have custody of your child or not, and one of the ways to provide this relationship is through child support payments. While it is only a part of the larger equation of the relationship you should have with your children, it is important to help provide for their well-being.

Child support is the financial obligation that the courts levy on parents to help support their children after a divorce. It goes to pay for such disparate things as school, clothing, toys, music lessons, health care, and all the various sundry expenses that children incur. A recent governmental study revealed that the price of raising a child born in 2009 will be over $ 200,000, and that burden should not fall to just one parent. For this reason, the courts often require that the non-custodial parent provide a set amount of money on a monthly basis to provide for the child’s welfare.

Because of how common divorce and child support are, courts have developed a series of criteria they use to judge each individual case. In general, these criteria are:

The relative gross incomes of both parents. This is used to determine which parent is better able to financially provide for the children. Oftentimes, this is not necessarily the parent who is better able to emotionally care for the children. The relative incomes show the courts how much each parent should be expected to pay.
How much time each parent spends with the child. Frequently, the parent spending less time with the child will have to provide more in terms of financial support.
The tax deductions claimable by each parent. This affects the gross income of both parents and should be taken into account.
Other pay deductions. This includes expenses such as union dues or health care expenses.

When determining child support payments, it’s important to come to an equitable, fair agreement. After all, it’s your children who suffer if you do not. It can be a good idea to discuss your concerns with a divorce lawyer before going into court to determine the amount of the monthly payments.

For more information about child support payments and how they are determined, visit divorcelawyerssandiego.com.

Joseph Devine

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