Child support is one of the most contentious topics that couples often go up against when they divorce. Inevitably, the parent who will pay thinks that they should pay less. On the flip side, the custodial parent often feels that the other parent isn’t providing adequate financial support for the care of the child. Not only can the specific needs of families differ from one another, but those of the same child can change over time. Bergen County child support attorney Walter K. Schreyer explains that “Every family is unique, making the area of family law and that of child support issues a very diverse practice.”

The Purpose of Child Support

Child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to provide the child of a divorce with the basic necessities and some of the extras that the child enjoyed before the couple divorced. It is a legally mandated way of evening out the financial responsibility between the parents while maintaining a lifestyle for the children that is similar to what they have previously known.

A number of factors are considered when determining child support including the income of both parents. The final amount may be based on the net or gross amount, depending on the state of residence.

It is common for both parents to work, resulting in the need for childcare while the parents are at working outside of the home. The cost of childcare may be entered into the formula for determining child support. Healthcare expenses including medical insurance premiums and medical treatments are also often taken into consideration. There may also be other expenses for special conditions and/or needs that a child may have.

A Bergen County child support attorney will know which information needs to be submitted to ensure the paying or receiving parents gets a fair agreement. Although there are guidelines that are followed to determine the child support amount, there are also special circumstances that will have an impact on the final decision.

Following the Divorce

Once the Bergen County child support attorney has negotiated an appropriate settlement for the divorcing couple, it is only carved in stone until circumstances change. As the child grows, he/she may develop new needs or new interests that will require more money for support. The income of either parent can also change, leading to the need for the right amount of child support to be recalculated.

Either the custodial or noncustodial parent may go to the Bergen County child support attorney to request a change in their child support arrangements. They may require more money from the other parent or have the need to reduce their contribution because of a loss of income. Generally, the courts will try to reach an agreement that is fair for both parents without having too much of an impact on the child. To find out your option for determining child support or changing an existing child support agreement, turn to the expertise of a local family law attorney.