Anybody with a child who is looking at a prospective divorce will rightfully be concerned about issues surrounding their child’s health and welfare, not to mention living situation. In terms of child support specifically, it’s crucial to understand what factors impact the court’s ruling for who receives child support and in what amount. Here’s a look at some of the factors which impact the decision for child support.

Generally speaking, the starting point for calculations is according to the income of both parents along with expenses which are deemed necessary for the child. For instance, work related day care costs, as well as health insurance, and ongoing extraordinary medical expenses, fall into these guidelines. The necessities of food, shelter, and clothing, are already factored into the child support guidelines.

Whether it’s considered that one parent has primary physical custody, or that they share physical custody will also impact child support. For example, sharing physical custody requires a minimum of 128 overnights for each parent per year.

In certain cases, a threshold may be reached wherein standard calculations for child support are no longer utilized. For instance, if the parents make more than $15,000 per month, the court does not have to adhere to typical calculations and may deviate the from the state’s official or typical guidelines.

There are certainly other factors involved as well. This includes of course how many children the couple share, and whether or not there are children from a prior marriage, or ongoing alimony and child support obligation from a prior court order.

It’s also possible for child support requirements to be changed after the initial ruling. This includes cases where there has been a material change with regard to the financial circumstances of one or both parents. For example, a change of 25% to either party’s income which likely would qualify as a material change of circumstances.

It’s important to keep in mind that different states and locales often have different guidelines. These are not determined on a national basis, so people living in different areas of the country should be sure to look up what applies to them and their area.

Also, it’s always essential to consult and work with an experienced attorney. This is true for all matters involving divorce, but is even more important for this issue, as well as child custody. An attorney should be able to guide you through the process as smoothly and effectively as possible, and help produce the best possible outcome.