What should I know about child support in divorce?

While co-parenting is the norm post-divorce in the modern courtroom, it is likely that the parent who has the children more often is going to be receiving some form of child support from the parent who has the children less often. Child support is often a hot-button issue (particularly where so-called “deadbeat” parents are concerned), but it is a complicated process with many factors going into it. According to Forbes Magazine, there is no one-size-fits-all situation where child support is concerned, and child support is always modifiable. 

The “modifiable” aspect of child support is dependent on many factors. The overarching point of child support is to ensure that the child has the financial support that he or she needs to thrive. However, this amount may be modified by the life circumstances that the paying parent is going through. For instance, loss of a job may indeed result in a modification to child support monies owed to keep pace with the new predicted level of income. Receiving an inheritance or a major raise at work may also result in a modification. The agreement may be revisited at any point after the divorce if necessary: nothing is set in stone. 

It is also important to know that child support is generally considered more important than spousal support (commonly known as “alimony”). This means that if the child support agreement is modified to be less, then the spousal support amount will almost certainly be less as well. The connection between spousal and child support is why these sorts of decisions need to be made by an impartial party (generally a judge) and not made by one parent alone.