Covington Child Support Lawyers
Need Assistance Determining Support? Contact Our Covington Child Support Lawyers
It is important that you have experienced Covington child support lawyers by your side when you are determining child custody and child support. This ensures that the amount of child support is fair to all those involved and adequately covers regular expenses for the children involved. Although child support can be a contentious part of a divorce with children, ideally, parents would agree that they both want what is best for their children and act accordingly. Divorces and issues related to child custody and child support rarely go smoothly, however, child support is generally set based on a specific formula that takes a number of things into account.
Generally speaking, only the non-custodial parent makes monthly child support payments. The assumption is that the custodial parent is already paying more than their fair share by providing a home, utilities, food, clothing, etc. The actual amount of child support will depend on each parent’s income and the number of children to be supported. An Adams Law child support attorney can help you through this difficult time. We help those in Northern Kentucky, across the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky, and in Southern Ohio from our Covington office.
How is the Amount of Child Support Determined?
An online child support estimator, long with state-provided worksheets, can help you determine approximately how much you will pay or receive in child support. This estimator takes into consideration each parents’ gross income—income from all sources. Gross income could include regular salary or wages, bonuses, job commissions, or military pensions. An unemployed parent may have income from social security, unemployment, disability benefits, or workers’ compensation that would also be taken into consideration. Public assistance like food stamps is generally not considered when determining child support.
A parent who quits a job or refuses to get a job just to avoid paying child support could be in for a rude awakening. Voluntarily remaining unemployed or underemployed can result in your income being imputed by the court. This means that if you hold an advanced degree and could be making $100,000 per year, but you are (by choice) working at McDonald’s making minimum wage, the court could use the amount you could be earning to determine the amount of child support. A parent with a disability or a parent that is caring for small children is unlikely to have their income imputed.
How Can Child Support Be Used?
Child support is intended to cover the basic needs of the child or children, including housing, food, and clothing. Child support may also be used for medical care not paid for by insurance, fees associated with advanced education, childcare, transportation or travel, entertainment, extracurricular activities, other school expenses, and other things as well. The parent receiving child support could potentially use the money to purchase groceries, to help pay the rent or mortgage, and to feed the child, or, for a child in school, to buy school lunches.
Although the parents will be required to carry health insurance on the child (or apply for Medicaid), there are usually extra health care costs, and these costs can be covered with child support. Co-pays, deductibles, and surgery costs can be covered, as can braces, casts, eyeglasses, or any other type of special medical needs. Even if a child attends public school, extra expenses, including tutoring, books, and school trips, can be paid for with child support. If one or both parents work, child support could cover daycare, childcare during summer months, spring break, or holidays, or even shoes for athletics.
Child support can be used on costs related to basic transportation and travel cost, including maintaining the family car, car insurance, or bus fares in a city with public transportation. Child support can also cover fees associated with any extracurricular activities, such as summer camp, sports activities, Girl or Boy Scouts, and other types of non-school-related activities. The parent receiving child support may not spend the money on himself or herself.
When Does Child Support End, and Can the Amount Be Altered?
In the state of Kentucky, child support payments generally continue until the child turns 18—or 19, if the child is still in high school. Under certain circumstances, the court may require the paying parent to continue child support for a special needs child that is unable to live independently for much longer.
If a parent truly believes the amount of child support is unfair to the child or to the parent, the amount can be challenged prior to the final order. The judge will review the following factors to determine whether the child support should be increased or decreased:
- Any extraordinary educational needs of the child;
- Any special needs of the child;
- Whether the child has extraordinary dental or medical needs;
- Whether either parent has extraordinary medical needs;
- Any independent financial resources of the child;
- An agreement by the parents for a different amount of child support (only if the child is not on Medicaid or other public assistance),
- Any other factors which could make the amount of child support about to be awarded inappropriate.
Child support can also be altered after the fact, but only under certain circumstances. The amount of child support can be changed if either parent experiences a material change in circumstances. A material change in circumstances could occur when a parent loses a job, finds a much better job, remarries, has another child, or relocates, to name just a few. For example, if the paying parent was working a minimum wage job, then graduates from college and receives a job paying significantly more, the receiving parent can ask for a modification of child support.
How The Covington Child Support Lawyers From Adams Law Can Help You with Your Child Support Issues
If you have questions regarding child support, a child support attorney from Adams Law can help. We help our clients throughout their divorce, from start to finish, including child custody and child support. We understand that child support can be extremely important, whether you are the paying parent or the receiving parent; we will work hard to ensure the final amount is fair to all those involved. As a client-centered law firm, Adams Law wants to help you during this difficult time. Contact Adams Law today to speak to an experienced Covington child support lawyer.