Just as you had several financial considerations as part of dissolving your marriage, the same applies to the child custody and child support aspect of your divorce. How much should you expect to pay or receive?
Money Crashers explains factors courts consider when deciding child support amounts. Get more insight into providing for your shared child financially.
Custody and placement
Do you and the other parent want shared placement of your shared child? If so, your child support amount could depend on how much time your child spends in each household. A judge may also base the decision on the amount you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse contribute to the collective family income.
Forms of income courts consider when setting a child support amount include pensions, wages, tips, self-employment earnings, interest, veteran’s benefits, unemployment benefits and bonuses. The more income you or the other parent earn, the more you should expect to pay or receive.
If a parent endures financial hardship while paying child support, judges consider that when making child support orders. Also, if the custodial parent has more income than the noncustodial parent, the noncustodial parent may not have as much of a child support payment.
Quality of life
What lifestyle did your shared child have before the divorce? Judges consider a shared child’s previous quality of life and take steps to ensure the child maintains that lifestyle after the divorce.
Children with special needs may have extra expenses associated with a learning, physical or mental disability. Expenses associated with the disability factor into the amount a parent pays in child support.
Taking care of your individual financial health becomes essential before, during and after divorce. Educating yourself on specific expenses and sources of income related to child custody helps you budget for a better life for yourself and your child.