Most Louisiana parents know that they must support their children financially at least until they reach the age of 18. This child support requirement remains whether the parents are married, divorced or separated. Even if the parents were unmarried, the state expects each parent to provide financially for the children.
In some instances, support may continue beyond the age of 18. For example, if a child has special needs, the parents may continue to be held responsible for child support beyond that age. In addition, if a child is in college, remains unmarried and is still claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, the requirement for support may continue.
Determining the amount of support to be paid depends on numerous factors such as the income and debts of each parent. What is considered income can be derived from many sources other than just employment. In some cases, a parent may be permanently disabled and unable to provide support, and this could affect the amount paid by the other parent.
A Louisiana court may consider any child support one parent is paying for children from another relationship as well. Extraordinary payments such as child care and health insurance also get factored into the amount of support. Financial contributions for health care, education and other needs of the child also bear consideration.
Child support calculations do fall into certain statutory guidelines, but the law also provides for courts to consider other relevant factors. It is those additional factors that need to be brought to the court’s attention by the parents in order to ensure that the amount of support paid will adequately provide for the child’s needs. It may be beneficial to involve an attorney in this process who can help ensure that the appropriate evidence is presented to the court.
Source: thespruce.com, “Questions Answered About Louisiana Child Support“, Debrina Washington, Accessed on July 2, 2017