The question of child support can make divorce an even more complicated process than it already is.
Child support exists in the interests of children of divorcing parents; it’s designed for the ongoing wellbeing of children, but sometimes that doesn’t make it any less contentious of a process.
What is child support in Arkansas?
In every state, child support is an agreement involving ongoing payments made by one of a child’s parents. Typically, these payments are made toward a parent who has custody of the child, by a non-custodial parent.
Child support is determined by a number of factors, namely the income of both parents but also including living expenses, costs of schooling or health care, and the number of children and their ages.
In Arkansas, child support is handled slightly differently than most other states.
In many states, the cost of child support is determined by the monthly cost of raising and caring for the children.
Payment is issued by the non-custodial parent, at an agreed-upon percentage based on the total income shared by both parents.
However, in Arkansas, it’s a little more straightforward (at least in some ways). The non-custodial parent is required to pay a percentage of their income toward child support each month. It’s based purely on income rather than calculated living expenses.
The amount paid changes if the non-custodial parent’s income changes– staying consistent with the predetermined percentage they’re court-obligated to pay.
What if we have shared custody of our child?
In its most basic terms, child support is paid by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent. However, many divorced couples share custody of their children.
If there’s shared custody of the child or children, the child support payment amount changes. It’s based on the amount of time that each parent has custody of their child.
For instance, a parent who has a child 90% of the time will likely receive more in child support payments than a parent who splits 50/50 custody with the child’s other parent.
How long do child support payments last?
Child support payments are typically ongoing until the children reach 18 years of age, or until they’ve graduated high school.
If the child has not yet graduated, they can also last until the end of the school year after the child turns 19.
Can you have your child support payments changed?
Of course, there’s plenty that can happen during 18 years that might affect child support payments.
If there’s been a significant change that you believe warrants a change in child support payments, you’ll have to formally request a change through the court.
Ultimately, whether the change will be granted is determined by a judge, but if there’s been a major change in either parent’s financial situation, or if the custody agreement has changed, it’s likely that a change in payments will be granted.
The bottom line is that the court will look at the situation with the child’s best interests and wellbeing in mind, and will proceed with payment arrangements accordingly.
What if the court denied a change in child support payments?
If you’re having trouble with child support payments that you believe are unfair or negatively affecting your child, it might be time to seek legal counsel.
Hiring an attorney who understands the ins and outs of the court, and who will fight for the best interests of the child and the parent, is essential for reaching a beneficial outcome for everyone.