Generally, when one parent is granted custody of the children, the other will be ordered to pay child support – a monthly payment, to the custodial parent. This is to allow the custodial parent to meet the child’s monthly expenses. The court will order the payment of child support in a divorce or paternity lawsuit.
Child support covers more than the basic requirements of the child like food and clothing. In fact it covers a broad range of expenses including medical expenses, school fees, entertainment and extracurricular activities.
All states have developed their own child support guidelines. The courts use these guidelines to determine the amount of child support. These guidelines consider many factors including the income of the parents, the ability to pay child support, the needs of the child and the amount required to ensure stability in the child’s standard of living.
The recipient parent is not required to prove that child support has been spent on specific activities except when the child’s basic necessities are not provided. The courts do not monitor how the child support amount is spent by the custodial parent as they assume that the custodial parent is paying for the child’s expenses.
The formula for calculating child support?
Generally, the following will be considered when calculating child support:
- The income of the parents and their expenses
- The needs of the child including expenses for education, medical care, and other necessities
- The ability to pay child support
- The child’s living standards prior to the divorce or separation (Courts understand that divorce will lower the standard of living of at least one spouse).
The parents must provide details of the finances including their monthly income and expenses to the court