Child Support FAQs

10 Child Support FAQs

Please keep in mind circumstances vary, and the below questions and answers are meant to be a general response to general questions.

Your life circumstances are unique, and for personal answers that address your unique circumstances contact my office and make an appointment to speak with one of the attorneys at  Schuster Law Group (562-464-3764).

1. What is Child Support?

Child support is the money a court orders one parent to pay directly to the other parent for the cost of raising a child. Child Support must be paid until a child reaches the age of 18. However, if a child is still in high school, child support will continue until the child’s nineteenth birthday.

2. How Long Will a Parent be Obligated to Pay Child Support?

Child Support must be paid until a child reaches the age of 18. However, if a child is still in high school, child support will continue until the child’s nineteenth birthday, but no later than that date.

However, there are exceptions. The main exception is if parents have a child with special physical or mental disabilities that seriously impact on the child’s ability to live independently. In this event, both parents will need to provide for the child indefinitely.

3. How Does the Court Determine What Child Support Is To Be Ordered?

Child Support is based upon the following factors:

  1. Number of Children
  2. The percentage of time each parent has each child
  3. The income for each parent for the last 12 months
  4. Certain allowable deductions

The court will take the above information and enter the data into a program called Dissomaster™.

4. How Does the Court Determine What a Person’s Income Is?

The court takes your gross monthly income (which includes overtime, bonuses, cashed-in vacation time) for the past 12 months. The reason they take the last 12 months is to achieve an average monthly income considering your “lean” and “fat” months. Remember, the court considers your gross income before payment of taxes and related deductions.

5. What is a Hardship Deduction?

A hardship deduction will be given to you for the Child Support you are scheduled to pay and, in fact, pay for a child of another relationship.

6. Can the Child Support Order Ever Be Changed?

Absolutely. The court will look to what it calls “changed circumstances” to determine whether grounds exist to change an existing child support order.

“Changed circumstances” exist if the court says so, but the primary factors that cause a “change of circumstance” are”

  1. Passage of time,
  2. Increase or decrease of the income of one or both of the parents, and
  3. A change in the amount of visitation

7. Are Stepchildren Eligible for Child Support?

Stepchildren are usually not eligible for Child Support from a stepparent. However, there are exceptions. The most common exception is if a parent is found to be a “de facto parent” then a stepparent may be obligated to pay Child Support.

8. Do I Get the Tax Deduction for the Children Since I am Paying Child Support?

The general rule is that the parent who has the child/children the majority of the time claims the child/children for tax purposes. If you share 50/50, then the court may order you to share the exemption every other year or split the child

9. If I pay Child Support Can I Demand the Parent I Give the Money to Render an Account of What They Did With the Child Support?

No. The court presumes that a parent who receives Child Support puts the money into a general fund where all family expenses are paid.

10. Does the Court Consider My Current Spouse’s Income When It Sets Support?

Ordinarily, no. The court, whether you are paying or receiving Child Support, cannot consider your spouse’s income. Also, the court can never consider the income of someone you are living with as opposed to being married to.

An Offer From Our Law Office

Mention this blog in an email to our office, and we will calculate a child support figure for you.

To receive your Child Support calculation, please send us the following information:

  1. Email us the following information:
  2. The mother’s monthly gross income (gross is before taxes are removed);
  3. The Father’s monthly gross income (gross is before taxes are removed);
  4. How many children are in the relationship and who do they live with;
  5. The percentage each parent has with the child(ren);
  6. The childcare paid (if any) for the children.

This will give you a basis amount of expected child support. There are additional factors which could change the amount, but this will give you an idea of what the child support would be.

Once you supply us with this information, we will e-mail you the child support calculation win 48 hours of your submission of your information to us.