Unlike divorce and custody disputes, child support is largely a math problem more than a complicated consideration competing interest. However, even the decision to adjust the amount of child support owed is subject to a number of statutory factors.
Generally speaking the determination of child support is based on the respective income of the parties. The non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying child support in a proportion determined by both their percentage of the parties’ combined income and the number of visitation days per year.
There are multitudes of ways to increase or decrease child support payments. A party with income other than a standard paycheck, such as dividends, bonuses, even alimony, may affect the amount due. Parents who are out of work or underemployed may raise the issue of “voluntarily impoverishment.” And there are a number of statutory factors which a court can consider to determine whether, despite the raw numbers, a child support award is unfair or unjust.
A child support award can also be difficult to enforce. The obligated parent may change jobs and their wages can no longer be garnished or they may fail to pay back-due child support in addition to their current obligation. Often this will call for the involvement of a Child Support Enforcement office, which is a state agency maintained and staffed by individual counties. An attorney can help you prepare for your child support case and help you see that it is enforced. The many factors which may come into play during such cases can be difficult to understand without legal representation.