If children are involved in your case,child support will be an issue. Whether it is actually paid or received, it needs to be addressed.
Typically, child support is calculated in a very formulaic manner. The calculations are based upon these main factors: the parents’ incomes, the percentage of time each party has the child(ren), the number of children involved, the cost of child care, and the cost of health insurance for the child(ren). The courts have constructed formulas in an attempt to eliminate subjectivity. Whether you need it or will be paying it, it is important that it is calculated properly. Although there is a formula, child support calculations cannot be valid if valid numbers are not put into the calculation. One number that is vitally important, is the parties’ true incomes. An attorney who is knowledgeable in discovery matters, knows what questions to ask and what documents to request, can make the difference between a fair amount of support and an exaggerated or deflated calculation.
Dispelling “Deadbeat Dad” Label
The oft-used term “deadbeat dad” conjures up an image of a father who neglects to support his children emotionally or financially. Not every dad who does not fulfill his child support obligation can be construed as a “deadbeat.”
The law recognizes this distinction. Inability to pay is a valid defense to a contempt action. Simply showing that you are unemployed, though, is not sufficient to establish an inability to pay.
What If You Can’t Pay Child Support
There may be a host of causes for financial hardship, but many of them will not entitle you to reduce your child support obligations. Simply losing a portion of your income may not be enough to reduce your child support obligation. There are defenses to non-payment, and a modification may be possible if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The negative consequences of non-payment can be severe, and your attorney can assist you in attempts to minimize or avoid them, and with getting back in compliance.
Modifying Child Support
When the judge in your case determines a child support obligation, the considerations may be dictated by statute, determined by the circumstances of your case or a combination of factors. These initial considerations may affect how future evaluations of your child support obligation are reviewed.
Child support is always subject to modification, if the necessary elements of change can be shown. .Whether you are entitled to a modification and recalculation of support may be able to be determined during an initial consultation.