Parents have a legal obligation to financially provide for their minor children. However, when the parents are divorced or unmarried, court-ordered child support orders are put in place to ensure the needs of the child are being met.
Child support disputes can be contentious. While both parents typically want to provide for their children, no one wants to feel taken advantage of in the court system. If you are separating from your partner and have children, contact a seasoned family law attorney to help protect your rights. A Hamilton County child support lawyer could provide you with guidance regarding your rights and obligations as a parent and help you reach your goals.
Under state law, the courts rely on an income shares model to determine how much each parent is financially responsible for their child. To accomplish this, the state provides guidelines for calculating each parent’s adjusted gross income and uses it to determine the payment amount. However, in some cases, the courts can deviate from these guidelines.
The monthly child support payment is based on the adjusted gross income of each parent. Income can include wages, inheritance, and other benefits minus certain expenses. For example, if a parent has additional child support payments or adoption assistance subsidies, that may be subtracted by the court.
Once each parent’s adjusted gross income has been determined, the court adds those figures together to calculate the total amount of financial support required by using state-provided worksheets. The parents are then responsible for a proportionate share of the costs based on their individual income.
Further, these figures can change based on parenting time. While a parent who has full custody of a child might not be required to make any payments, there are other complexities involved with shared custody arrangements.
While the guidelines provide a specific amount of child support owed, the court has the power to deviate from these guidelines in some cases. However, there is a presumption that the initial amount in the guidelines is the correct amount to support a child under 18.
For the court to deviate from the guidelines, a skilled child support lawyer in Hamilton County could help a parent demonstrate that the figure provided by the guidelines is unjust and a deviation is in the child’s best interest.
There is a hard monthly cap on the number of child support payments the court may order. This limit applies per child, meaning the total amount a non-custodial parent might owe could increase with additional children.
Under the law, the maximum monthly support the court may order for a single child is $2100—the number is not tied to inflation and does not scale in any way. To understand the total amount of child support a parent could be responsible for, call a Hamilton County attorney for assistance.
You have the right to rely on the guidance of a local attorney. Your legal counsel could provide invaluable advice during and after the child support process.
Let a Hamilton County child support lawyer serve as your advocate. Call immediately for an initial consultation.