Child support is a common part of divorce and should be considered before the divorce is finalized. You may find that divorce is more costly than you imagined. After the division of assets and attorney’s fees and child support you may find that divorce has lasting financial consequences. Of course if you don’t have kids then child support is an unnecessary consideration.
Essentially child support is a payment. The parent that is not considered the “custodial” parent pays the “custodial” parent a sum decided by the parties. The “custodial” parent is the parent that takes care of the majority of the day-to-day needs of the child. Most parties are able to set up an arrangement that works for both parents. Some decide to split the costs half and half. Others decide that the “custodial” parent pays their part in time spent with the kids so the “non-custodial” parent pays more than half the costs.
If the parents are unable to decide on how much is appropriate then the parties will need to litigate the child support issues. This can be particularly costly to both sides and should be prevented in most situations. Litigation is particularly preventative in jurisdictions that clearly articulate the normal amount a “non-custodial” parent should pay in child support.
Most litigation occurs when the parents’ situation is particularly complex. Whether there are multiple children, more than two parents, or complex financial matters, litigation can be effective because it gives a final determination that both parties will be bound to obey.
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