Home > Family
With today's high divorce rate, hacking your way through the proverbial “jungle of litigation” in search of a reasonable solution for the parents and children can be an extremely time consuming process. A constant backup in family courts means that divorce and child support proceedings can be costly and emotionally stressful for all involved. Your divorce and child support outcomes will vary depending on the state you live in.
The Federal Family Support Act of 1988 requires every state to provide numerical child support guidelines which implement a federal requirement demanding that guidelines must be established and used to form the recognized standard when fixing the amount of child support. The divorce and child support guidelines are designed to overcome the common problems in child support awards. These problems are an insufficient amount of support, inconsistent guidelines used by judges to determine awards, and inefficiency in the settlement of child support. The formula attempts to balance the child's needs and the parents' ability to provide for those needs when the family is split by divorce and child support is needed.
Courts consider different factors when determining divorce and child support. Discretion is used to deviate from the guidelines when appropriate. Factors that courts will consider include the educational needs of either parent, the needs of the children presently supported by the non-custodial parent, and extraordinary expenses sustained by the non-custodial parent in performing visitation rights.
Divorce and child support guidelines are often adjusted in cases of shared or "split" custody arrangements. Courts may also consider any other factor they deem relevant. These reasons make it impossible to predetermine the amount of child support a court may order. The majority of cases see most guidelines closely adhered to.
Child support is awarded based on reported wages of the payer, as demonstrated by income tax returns. Middle and upper class parents who wish to limit the amounts contributed to their children's support have a variety of ways to lower their IRS reportable income. Income can also include an amount imputed as income based upon the payer's former resources or income, if the court determines that the payer has reduced resources or income in order to reduce the payer's obligation for child support.
The income from a payer parent's spouse, perhaps the supported child's stepparent, may be determined to be "available" to the payer for purposes of child support obligations. This can occur when a payer mother has become a housewife in a new marriage and left her old job, although non-parents are generally not liable themselves for support.In a divorce and child support proceeding, the issues are generally limited to the application of guidelines percentages to the party's income. During the commencement of the hearing, the court will order the payer to pay support on a regular basis. Courts in most states will order that the amount be deducted from the payer's wages by his or her employer and sent out automatically to the recipient. Since each individual state has different laws regarding divorce and child support, an expert of these proceedings can help you. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer to get a better idea of what you can expect from different methods and proceedings.
More information on family:
Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.
Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.