To minimize arbitrary, inconsistent child support payments, the federal government mandates that each state adopt formal guidelines that determine how much support each parent should provide. There are slight variations from state to state, but as the family law attorneys at The Law Office of Peter A. McInish, LLC, in Dothan, AL, explain, they all factor in common variables.
These variables include:
- Income: The state first determines the combined income of you and your spouse, then calculates the percentage each of you will contribute toward your children's well-being. Even if your spouse brings in substantially more, you'll still be required to pay child support.
- Deductions: If you're paying alimony or child support from a previous marriage, you may deduct that amount from your income, which would likely result in lower child support payments. The family laws in your state may allow for additional deductions, so speak to a divorce attorney before agreeing to any terms.
- Healthcare & Other Expenses: The official child support order must also indicate which parent will pay the cost of medical bills and for insurance coverage. Generally, these expenses are added to the child support payments, which may also include additional funds to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
- Visitation Arrangements: If you and your spouse are able to share custody or have extended visitation arrangements, your child support payments may be less than if you had sole custody with limited visitation.
The Law Office of Peter A. McInish, LLC, a skilled legal team with years of experience and an in-depth understanding of divorce and family law, knows how confusing these situations can be, which is why they are committed to providing compassionate, effective legal representation to all of their clients. Visit their website to see their full list of family law services, or call (334) 671-2555 to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer today.