One thing that may be holding you back from ending the relationship with your spouse is not knowing how child support will be calculated. If you are the parent who will be on the receiving end, you may worry that the amount that you will be awarded will be insufficient to maintain the standard of living to which your children are accustomed.
If you are the parent who has to provide the child support, you may worry that the amount that you will be required to pay will be so large that it will leave you in dire financial straits, unable to rebuild your life in this new stage. In either case, it is recommended to get help from a child support lawyer in Phoenix to understand the law and how these payments are calculated.
Here are some things to consider:
- Your situation is unique so certain factors that may weigh into the obligation will not apply to everyone else.
- The statutes that govern child support vary by state so you must understand the parameters marked by where you live.
- There are two main methods used to calculate child support and these are the Income Shares Model and the Percentage Income Model.
Understanding the Income Shares Model
This is the model used by most states and it aims to proportionally divide the costs to raise a child based on the income of the parents. In this formula, the court will determine the amount needed every month to cover the child’s needs and then figure out how much each parent would have to contribute to it depending on how much money each parent makes.
The parent with whom the child will be residing will receive the amount from the other parent and add to it the amount they have to contribute themselves. The courts may also take into account the number of children that require this support, whether there are any extraordinary medical expenses and more.
If the child will divide their time equally between both parents, the amount that each one has to contribute will also vary. To verify how the amount you have to contribute for child support would change if the children lived half of the time with you, talk to your lawyer.
Understanding the Percentage of Income Model
This child support model is based on the income of the parent who will not have physical custody of the child. The court takes the income of this parent and attributes a percentage that will be used as child support based on state factors.
Although this formula is easier to calculate, it has been argued that it is not necessarily the fairest one. It does not take into account the custody arrangement which is why you must discuss this with your attorney.
If you have to provide child support according to this method, you should know that this amount can be reviewed periodically and that you also have the right to file to modify the child support agreement if your circumstances change.
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