Caring for a child after divorce is more than just having them stay at your house every other weekend or calling them before bedtime. A big part of caring for a child is financially supporting them. Many parents make child support payments as a way to provide for their kids after divorce.
What is Child Support For?
Child support payments are a way for one parent to offer financial support to their children when that parent can’t be with them all of the time. The other parent is responsible for delegating those funds to costs going towards the well-being of the child. This may include anything but is typically for food, clothing, entertainment, and other things that are essential to the child’s life. The court may also order that the parents split the costs of education, medical payments, extracurricular activities, etc.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
While there are similar elements that are always considered when determining child support payment totals, every state has their own specific guidelines that will tell you just how much your payments will be. Much of what will be taken into account has to do with the income of each parent including monthly wages, commissions, benefits, etc. Also to be taken into account is the child’s standard of living prior to the divorce or separation, and the financial needs specific to the child. For instance, a child with special needs due to a physical or mental disability may cost more to care for, and this will be recognized when determining the support payments.
Managing Child Support Payments
As the parent who is making the child support payments, you should manage your funds in a way that is clear and organized. Consider going on a budget as you begin to make these payments; being conservative when spending your personal funds and always making sure you have enough to cover your child support payment. Once you’ve made a few payments in full, you’ll have a better grasp of what to expect into the future. Choose a smart way to send the funds to your co-parent that thoroughly documents each step of the payment process. Setting up an automatic bank-to-bank transfer is a good way to ensure that the payments are being sent at the right times and to the right place. Keeping a record of these payments is important so that you always have proof that you made them. As the parent who is receiving these payments, use the funds wisely. Remember that they are meant to support the well-being of your child, so use them for that purpose.
Managing child support payments well is something that should be taken seriously, and only an attorney or family law professional can answer specific questions regarding how to manage child support in your case. Understanding why they are made and how they are determined can help to reduce some of the stress that comes along with paying them. As for making or receiving payments, the right tools can help you to manage these payments with ease. Please call the office to schedule a free consultation. This article was provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.