Alton, IL family courts apply state guidelines when deciding the amount of child support that parents must pay after they get a divorce. These guidelines consider parental income and the number of children that will require financial support. In many cases, parents wish to depart from these guidelines and create their own agreement that they believe will better suit their circumstances. These types of agreements are subject to court approval. If you are wanting to negotiate a child support arrangement that a court will enforce and accept, you will need to make sure it is constructed with a lot of thought and consideration.
Child Custody Support
Creating a child support arrangement that is workable starts with understanding what it actually costs to raise your child as well as how those costs change as they get older. Child support payments must cover your child’s basic needs. This includes food, shelter, clothing, education, and healthcare. However, the cost of raising a child always varies. What is considered to be a basic need for one family can be considered extravagant for another. Take time to see what is spent during a usual month of what you pay for your child’s everyday life.
Other things to consider include sports and clubs that charge fees, special events coming up, school supplies, or whatever is needed for your child coming up. Make sure to write everything down, so that you do not miss the costs of anything your child may need. You can even discuss with your ex whether or not you want to pay for your child’s professional or college education after they reach the age of 21.
Once you have come up with your believed cost that will help raise your child, figure out what portion of the financial burden is yours to take on. Child support is typically awarded to the party who has primary or sole custody of the child. However, in shared custody cases, this does not alleviate either party’s child support obligation. If there is a sizable income disparity amongst the parents, the one with the higher earnings is usually expected to contribute more to the child’s needs. Income includes wages as well as pensions, earnings from the stock market, government benefits, and more.
Making sure you are armed with all relevant information before you start the negotiation process is important. This includes discussions that are conducted through mediation or as part of a collaborative divorce. An accountant or financial planner can also help provide a valuable perspective and give you advice about potential unexpected expenses.
If you need a lawyer who can assist you with your family and child support needs, contact our team at Elovitz Law Office today!