When two individuals file for divorce, it is likely that one of the them will need to pay child support. Child support payments are intended to protect the financial wellbeing of a child when their parents separate. The court can determine the appropriate amount of support based on a variety of legal factors.

Child support payments will have long-term impacts on the finances of both parents. It is crucial to speak to an Arlington child support lawyer about your rights and obligations regarding child support. An experienced family lawyer can evaluate your case, answer your questions, and ensure that you are receiving or paying the appropriate amount of child support.

What Impacts Child Support Payments?

The goal of child support is to provide care for the child or children when their parents separate. There are many factors involved in determining how much support should be paid, including the following:

  • The income of both parties
  • The custody arrangement and how often each party has the children
  • Which parent pays for child care during working hours
  • Which parent pays health insurance-related costs
  • Whether either party is paying support for a child from another relationship

The state has guidelines that the court must follow when determining the support amounts. However, the calculations may not always lead to an equitable result for the children or the parents. In those instances, the parties can, through their attorneys, argue for a deviation from the guideline amount of child support.

In cases where the parties both have have an income of more than $15,000 per month, the court can set support at an amount that differs from any calculations. The best interests of the children is the most critical consideration in these cases. A skilled attorney can provide assistance to individuals working to understand child support in Arlington.

Modifying Child Support

If the court sets a support amount based on the income, custodial time, other factors  at the time of a divorce, and those facts change, the parties can move to modify the amount of monthly support. One common reason to adjust support is if either party’s income changes by 25 percent or more. Increases as well as decreases in income will warrant a modification of support payments.

If parents significantly alter their schedule, a court may modify the payments as well. For instance, if the paying party now has the children much more often, they might be able to lower their payment amounts. It will be essential to make modifications formally and to go through the court when making changes to child support amounts.

Modifying support will require the moving party to file a motion. If there has been a material change in circumstance, the parents may also request the court to review support and make any alterations to the payment amount. A well-practiced attorney in Arlington can assist a client by guiding them through the process of seeking a modification to child support.

Voluntary Impoverishment and Child Support

Voluntary impoverishment occurs when a parent deprives themselves of resources and income to avoid paying child support. If a parent who is paying child support intentionally earns less income to avoid paying support, the court can take actions to impute income on that individual. The court will review factors including the parent’s health, education, efforts to obtain a job, work history, and the timing of the changes in their employment when determining the amount of income to impute on that person.

If a parent is in prison, the court will not view this as a form of voluntary impoverishment. Parents who suspect that their co-parent is voluntarily impoverishing themselves to avoid child support payments should speak with a knowledgeable Arlington child support attorney to explore their legal options.

Consult with an Arlington Child Support Attorney Today

Child support is an essential aspect of caring for children in split families. Courts in Arlington take child support obligations very seriously, as should parents.

If you have questions regarding your child support obligations or your right to recover child support, speak to an Arlington child support lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate your case and provide counsel regarding any child support-related issues. Reach out today to learn more.