When we establish a relationship with someone we don’t plan on separating or getting a divorce. This is especially tough when there are children involved, however, it happens. During this time, it is important to try to work together to develop a well thought out child support agreement that helps your children have the financial support they need now and in the future. Attorney James A. Graham, Jr. will guide you through this process to ensure both you, and your children, get the support that you deserve.What Is a Child Support Agreement?
It is not easy to talk about money. That is why the discussion of child support can often be a point of contention during divorce or custody proceedings. It is important to keep the children and their needs in sight and to remember this is in the best interest of the children. Keeping the children in mind when determining child support, the courts calculate a proper amount of support each parent should provide, as well as a percentage of expenses that each parent should pay. The courts work to ensure both parents, no matter who has custody, are actively supporting the children. In many cases, and what you may have heard, is that the noncustodial parent provides the custodial or domiciliary parent with regular child support payments. These payments are typically monthly until the children reach the age of 18 or graduate high school.
While parents can negotiate the terms of child support and reach an agreement on their own, when no agreement can be reached the courts will set the parameters for the calculation of child support through the Child Support Guidelines. When calculating child support, one of the most important factors is each parent’s adjusted gross income, which determines what each parent is capable of paying. This number is an individual’s gross income, minus any child support being paid from a prior relationship, as well as any spousal support obligations from a prior relationship. Other common factors are school tuition, number of children involved, childcare expenses, healthcare and insurance costs, extracurricular activities, and miscellaneous expenses. Judges may also examine the custody arrangement and how much time each parent spends with the kids.Child Support: Modifying and Enforcing
Both children’s needs and a parent’s circumstances can change throughout time. For this reason, child support arrangements can also be modified. If the noncustodial parent is not earning what they previously were, by no fault of their own, and cannot afford the previous amount, the issue can be brought back to court. We can help you challenge the amount ordered based on these factors and more.
When circumstances change and you need a modification of child support, you must show “a material change in the circumstances since the time of the previous award and the request for a modification of the award". If the court cannot find that something significant has happened that affects the payments between the initial child support agreement and your request, the request can be denied.
Changes that could cause a change could be a loss of job or a promotion, getting married and adding children, or becoming disabled. There are many issues that might affect the initial child support agreement. It is important for both parents to be aware of this and regularly review the arrangement.
Sometimes a parent will not abide by the Judgment and pay the court ordered child support. If this happens and they are not paying as stipulated in the agreement, you have legal rights and options. Contact us today for assistance in navigating this process and getting your children the support they are entitled to.Contact a Slidell Child Support Attorney Today
If you need reliable legal guidance on child support in South Louisiana, turn to the skilled family law attorneys at the Law Office of James A. Graham, LLC. We proudly serve individuals and families in New Orleans, Slidell, Covington, and Mandeville and the surrounding areas. To get started today, call 985.202.8110 or contact us online.