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How is child support determined?

Child support can be determined in a number of ways. Some couples are able to agree to support payments outside of a court room; even in such cases, it's a good idea to document the support agreement in a legal fashion to protect each party as time moves forward. Others go to court, and a Florida court makes child support decisions.

Courts across the nation are governed by different state rules when it comes to child support, but some basic factors are looked at in almost every case. First, the court will consider the custody situation. Support payments can be impacted by how much time the children spend with each parent; if one parent cares for the children the majority of the time, that may be cause for a different support requirement than in situations where a couple splits custody evenly. Support situations involving parents who were never married may be even more complex.

When determining the amount of child support a person is responsible for, courts consider a number of factors. The court obviously looks at the income of both parents. Income doesn't just include wages and things paid by employers, such as bonuses or commissions. It can also include tips, insurance or social security benefits, disability payments, interest payments, military benefits and money earned through rentals or royalties.

Child support payments aren't determined solely on income, though. Living conditions, quality of life and overall needs for the child are also considered. The income of the custodial parent could also play a role in support payments; if the custodial parent has a high income or networth, support payments from the other payment may not be as high.

Ever situation is different, which is why legal understanding and assistance can be helpful when seeking support payments or negotiating payments. Regardless of which side of the support issue you are on, you do have legal rights and options.

Source: Money Crashers, "What Is Child Support – Laws & Guidelines for Payments" Miranda Marquit, Dec. 17, 2014

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