We Care About Your Family
There are specific guidelines in place to help courts determine child support payments based on
which parent is the custodial parent, the incomes of both parents, and the amount of time the
children spend with each parent.
While these guidelines have made the process easier for divorcing couples to understand their
responsibilities, there can still be disputes that arise. Some of the common causes for disputes I
have assisted my clients with have included:
Modifications to existing support agreements due to changes in financial circumstances.
Requests for reimbursement for extraordinary expenses.
Child support agreements for separated common law and unmarried couples.
The law does not relieve parents of their responsibilities to their children even though they are
separating or getting a divorce. Both parents have an equal financial obligation to support their
How Do Courts Determine Child Support Payments?
The amount of child support paid is based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The court
will review the finances of both parents and their incomes. They will also look at how many
children are in the home.
In cases where one parent stayed home and cared for the children and the other worked full-time,
then the income of the working parent is only used. Additionally, the court does take into
account which parent is the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent.
The court then reviews the custody and access agreement to determine the amount of time each
parent spends with their children. In addition, they take into account other expenses, such as
childcare, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and education activities, and which parent is
paying for these expenses.
What If I Have a Shared Custody Agreement?
In shared custody agreements the matter of child support is determined differently because the
parents split time more equally with the children. As such, neither parent could be required to
pay child support or only a minimal amount to offset the differences between incomes.
Who Enforces Child Support Payments?
The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) processes and enforces payments of child support.
After the court establishes what amount of support is to be paid, they notify the FRO. The FRO
collects support payments from the non-custodial parent.
The FRO then processes the payment to show it was paid, and reissues the payment to the
custodial parent. The FRO also tracks short payments, support arrears and non-payments. If
arrears become significant or payments are not being made, the FRO can take legal actions
against the non-custodial parent.
Can Child Support Payments Be Changed?
Modifications to an existing child support agreement can be requested for various reasons
through your lawyer. However, you MUST continue making payments under the current
agreement until the court approves a modified payment schedule.
Two of the more common reasons to request a change in support are:
1. There was a modification to the parenting schedule or visitation agreement.
2. There has been a change in either parent’s incomes.
For more information about child support payment agreements or to initiate a modification
request, please feel free to contact me to schedule a consultation today.
*The information on these pages do not constitute legal advise. Please contact me directly to receive legal advise regarding your specific issue. Thank You