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What factors determine the amount of child support?

When parents go through a divorce, they are naturally concerned about how this process will affect their children. If your marriage is over and you will be starting the divorce process soon, you probably want to know how you can protect the best interests of your children and what your custody and visitation order will be like. You may also have concerns about child support and your financial obligations.

Divorce has serious financial implications for both parents. Whether you have to pay child support or you will receive it, it can be helpful to understand what factors play a role in how the court determines the specific amount that is necessary each month. When you know what to expect, you will be able to avoid conflicts and disputes over the support amount. 

Determining the right amount

It's normal to have concerns about finances after divorce. However, it may be helpful to remember that the ultimate goal of any child support order is to provide what is necessary for the child to have continuity of lifestyle and his or her basic needs met. When determining how much child support is necessary or what a parent should pay, the following factors are important: 

  • The income of both parents
  • The cost of daycare, tutoring and other needs of the child
  • Whether the child has any special needs
  • The cost of insurance and health care necessities
  • The child's standard of living

The court tries to be cognizant of the paying parent's financial capabilities. In addition to the income of both parents, the court will also look at things like taxes, Social Security contributions and more. It does not help to overburden a parent as he or she will not be able to keep up with payments. This only causes more complications down the road. The court will strive to be fair but will keep the needs of the children as the main priority. 

Your post-divorce future

As a parent, you care deeply about the needs and best interests of your children. That does not mean that you cannot pursue a child support order that is fair and sustainable long-term. If you have concerns about your financial obligations after divorce or want to know more about how much child support you may receive, you may want to seek a complete evaluation of your case with an experienced Texas family law attorney.

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