Child support exists to help fund a child’s needs but might not be enough to help them live a full life. How are these needs calculated? The result could seriously impact your daily finances and your taxes.
What factors contribute to child support?
Both parents have a responsibility and a duty to provide for their children as they are able. After a divorce, it might be difficult to accurately predict or calculate what your new financial situation will be.
In Ohio, the following affects child support:
- Number of biological and non-biological children
- Your monthly income or annual income (earned or non-earned)
- Amount of spousal support (alimony)
- Medical care costs
- Education costs (now and in the future)
- Custodial status: sole, shared or split
- Geographical residence
- Any other outstanding needs
If you will need to declare bankruptcy before or after your divorce, this could further affect your child support payments. In addition, unemployment or incarceration will complicate the matter.
What happens if child support is not enough?
Child support does not need to be a static arrangement. If the initial calculation was too much or too little, either parent can file a petition to change the arrangement after 36 months. You may need to go to court to do this.
You might need to rearrange your child support order in the following situations:
- You lose your job and/or medical insurance
- You irreversibly lose 30 percent of your previous gross income for longer than six months
- Your child suddenly develops a severe medical complication
- Your child’s school expenses suddenly rise
- You come into a new source of wealth
However, you should take caution before you reopen this arrangement. Child support is one payment in a complex agreement between two parents. To receive more in one area, you might need to sacrifice something from another.
If you are confused about your child support arrangement, you may want to explore your legal options. These payments are meant to provide for your children and their everyday needs. If the payments no longer do that, it could be time to revisit your arrangement.