Each state has its own guidelines to use for calculating which parent pays how much. Usually, child support will be paid to the parent with primary physical custody. The amount of child support will vary depending on many factors, including each parent’s income, the cost of living and any special needs of the children. There are no set-in-stone rules, and parents may be able to come up with their own arrangements provided that an agreement satisfies the court and is in the best interest of the children.Child support, unlike many other aspects of a divorce settlement, is modifiable. Just because a parent agrees to pay a certain amount at the time of divorce does not mean they are locked into that amount until the children are grown. If one parent loses a job or faces an expensive illness, that can be a justification for reducing the amount of child support. Conversely, if a parent receives a significant pay raise or inheritance, that may be a reason to increase child support payments. A child’s circumstances may also be a reason to modify child support. If a child develops a need for expensive medical or educational services, child support may need to be modified to accommodate this.
Like most issues in divorce, child support is dependent on a lot of different factors. An attorney with experience in family law may be able to help parents navigate all of the legal issues regarding child support to ensure the best possible outcome for everyone.