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Understanding the Basics of Child Support

Child support can be a difficult but necessary option when there are children involved during a divorce.  Child support ensures that dependents of a divorced couple are taken care of monetarily for their education, clothing, health and various other needs.  

Child support is calculated according to a formula built into state law.  The formula combines the father’s and mother’s gross income minus certain allowable deductions.  The deductions are determined based on additional children from other marriages, spousal support, and other factors.

Child support continues until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever is later. Special rules apply to handicapped children who will not be self-sufficient by the age of 18. Support can be modified if the circumstances surrounding the initial court order have changed. New documentation must be supplied to the court and a new proceeding will be held.

If a person fails to make their child support payments as ordered, they can be found in contempt of court. They may be ordered to pay the costs of the contempt hearing, including attorney fees and can be ordered to jail under certain circumstances.

There are many online calculators that will help you estimate the potential cost of child support. However, the court ultimately has the final authority to determine the amount of child support awarded.  It is paramount that you access an experienced lawyer that can help you understand the court system and make sure your rights are adequately represented. 

If you have any questions about child support, please contact us at 614-319-3306.

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