When you are going through a divorce and you have full custody of your children, you may be entitled to child support payments. However, you might wonder what amount of child support would be fair. The courts determine child support based on a variety of factors and your child has the right to receive adequate support from both parents.
How Child Support Is Determined
The purpose of child support is to support minors who belong to both you and your ex. The judge sets both the child support amount and the payment schedule. During the child support hearings, you will be allowed to voice your concerns and so will your ex. For example, you can both make the case for why the child support amount should be increased or decreased.
The Federal Child Support Enforcement Act has a formula that is meant to create an objective method to determine how much child support your ex will be expected to pay. A child support attorney will explain to you how the formula works and what the calculation will ultimately determine.
The Goal of the Judge
The judge wants to help maintain the lifestyle that the children were accustomed to so that it will be easier for them to transition into life after the divorce. However, the courts will also take into consideration that it's not always possible to maintain the previous standard of living and they may make adjustments according to this.
However, circumstances can also change. Your ex might suffer a job loss and may not be able to pay as much in child support. As a result, they might successfully convince the court to reduce their child support obligation. However, your ex might then find another job and fail to report this fact to the judge. You may need to proactively bring this fact up to increase the child support amount you'll be paid.
How to Force Your Ex to Pay
If your ex is refusing to pay child support, there are ways to force them to pay. For example, the judge might garnish their wages. Even if your ex is unemployed, you may be able to have their unemployment check garnished.
However, the enforcement actions used by the court can also include jail time, fines, and a denial of tax refunds. Therefore, you will want to discuss the possible consequences when choosing to take legal action against your ex.
Talk to a child support attorney for more information.