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Don’t let child support fears hold you back from divorce

Filing for a divorce is not a decision that many Louisiana parents take lightly. Even when in an unhappy marriage, parents often worry about how much time they will still have with their children and whether they can still provide the necessary financial support. Financial worries are understandable, but demystifying certain aspects of child support might be helpful for some.

Courts can take a wide range of factors into account when deciding on an appropriate amount for child support. This is because no two families or children are alike, so there cannot be any type of one-size-fits-all approach to nailing down the number. In general, though, a child’s financial needs as well as his or her parents’ incomes will factor into the decision.

However, most parents know that children’s needs are always changing. From school fees, to extracurricular activities to changes in health care coverage, their needs are not static. Parents also lose jobs, earn raises and much more. Child support orders can be modified in order to reflect these changes, but it must be done in court. Parents can petition the court for a modification, and a judge will review the relevant information before making a decision.

Child support payments also will not affect a person’s taxes. This is a relatively new change, but the parent paying child support will not be able to deduct the payments and the recipient will not be taxed on the amount that he or she collects. This might be less confusing than it was for parents in the past, but speaking with an attorney who is well-versed in Louisiana family law can clarify any lingering confusion over child support, its tax effects and more.

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