- Child Custody
- Child Support
Child Support; Establishing, Modifying and Enforcing Support
What is child Support?
Child support (or child maintenance) is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship.Typically, the parent not having custody (or primary physical custody in joint custody situations) will be required to contribute to the support of the minor children. The amount of child support is determined by reference to the Child Support Guidelines which order mandatory support at stated levels. A trial judge can deviate from the guidelines but only in the child’s best interest. In addition, child support can include each parent’s respective portions of medical insurance, medical costs not covered by insurance, private school tuition and extracurricular expenses. In addition to establishing a child support order, we can help with the following:
Child Support Enforcement
Failure to pay child support can impact your credit history, result in garnishment of wages, loss of your driver’s license and/or passport, and possibly even jail time. In extreme cases, the state may act to seize certain assets or property. Individuals who fail to pay child support run the risk of encountering substantial legal and financial difficulty later – even if they manage to avoid problems initially.
Modifying Child Support Payments
If illness or the loss of employment creates the need to increase the child support received or decrease the amount paid, a modification of child support may be appropriate. An informal verbal agreement between you and your ex-spouse or parent of your child will not be enforceable and could lead to future legal complications. Our lawyers can prepare all the necessary documentation for you to petition the court to seek a modification of the amount of child support you may receive or pay.
What is alimony?
Alimony (sometimes called maintenance or spousal support) is usually an obligation to provide financial support to one’s spouse after separation or divorce. Alimony may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis. Many times alimony is designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses over and above the money provided by child support. It is often established by divorce law or family law and is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other during their marriage. Alimony is the continuation of this obligation to support after separation or divorce has occurred. Where child support is a simple mathematical calculation using guidelines published by the state, alimony is different from child support, as the ruling for alimony is very much at the discretion of the judge.
There are several factors judges will consider when deciding whether or not to grant alimony. These factors usually involve issues like the involved parties’ financial ability to earn money, both currently and in the future; respective age and health; the length of the marriage; the kind of property involved, and the conduct of the parties. The judge will decide if you will receive or pay alimony, but individual laws will apply. Because so much discretion is left to the judge when determining alimony, it’s important that you contact Attorney Timothy B. Moore to properly represent your interest.
Custody is the right to make decisions on behalf of a child. In Louisiana, custody can be joint, sole, shared or split. Since the nature of custody impacts the time you will have with your children, as well as possible child support, it is important that you have experienced legal representation to help you reach the best possible outcome.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”
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