New Orleans Divorce Lawyers
Child support and expense allocation conversations are typical in a divorce and navigating the complicated calculations and ever-changing details during your divorce process can be difficult.
Family Law Attorney Camille Patti will proactively seek out creative solutions for each child support case. She has a thorough understanding of the concerns that naturally arise when it comes to divorce and is committed to ensuring each the best outcome for your family.
Child Support Expenses and Custody
Money is often a tension point in family divorce cases, especially when it comes to child-related expenses and how those expenses are divided.
Expenses that should be considered when it comes to child support can include, but are not limited to:
- Extracurricular activities
- Educational expenses
- Childcare expenses (daycare, babysitters, etc.)
- Medical expenses like insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses
In Louisiana, both parents are required to support their child’s needs—including financial, emotional, and medical needs. The parents’ custody arrangement will make an impact on a child’s support award.
Child support calculations are based on the physical custody of a child (how much time a child spends with each parent) and the relative incomes of the parents.
- Sole custody: the child spends most of the time with one parent and that parent has sole legal decision-making authority regarding the child
- Shared custody: the child spends equal time between each parent
- Split custody: the children are divided between the two parents (for example, one partner takes the older child while the other partner takes the younger child)
Camille understands the stress of these situations and will serve as a valuable guide in navigating the child support process.
Child Support Formulas, Calculations, and Collections
Parental income is just one of many factors when determining child support. A lot of variables are considered, including:
- Number of children and other pre-existing support obligations
- Tax filing status
- Health insurance
- Whether one party is “voluntarily” under-employed or unemployed
- Age of the children at issue
- Whether one party has a history of perpetrating family violence
In Louisiana, guidelines based on parents’ income and expenses determine appropriate awards of child support, but a court can choose to deviate from the guidelines if it determines that circumstances warrant it. In cases of family violence, courts are explicitly authorized to deviate from the child support guidelines. Camille not only thoroughly understands how to make the necessary calculations, but she also provides advice regarding how best to handle your unique circumstances.
Life Changes and Modifications
Initial child support decisions and amounts can change over time. For example, if an ex-spouse gets remarried or finds a new job, support modifications may be necessary. Life changes inevitably occur, so it’s important to adapt child support amounts as necessary. Child support awards in Louisiana are always modifiable.
Either parent can ask for an adjustment of child support payments—up or down—based on:
- A legal obligation to support other dependents
- Community debt
- Total disability—either permanent or temporary—of a parent
- Extreme medical expenses
- Involuntary unemployment
- Change in custody
If you find yourself in a situation where you feel child support needs to be adjusted, reach out to Camille. She will discuss your situation with you, advise you of the best course of action for your situation, and work to have your child support needs addressed.