Courts are often understanding of a layoff or a demotion that someone can’t control. When a parent suddenly makes less money, they could be eligible to have their child support payments reduced.
Making more money can also affect your child support payments, depending on who increased their income.
Here are some scenarios where making more could mean spending more.
How Could an Income Increase Affect Child Support?
The court bases child support decisions on the present and the immediate future. It accounts for a parent’s current financial situation while considering their earning potential.
Courts cannot, however, account for a sudden, unexpected rise in income. Someone could “strike it rich” overnight by publishing a bestselling book, winning the lottery, or through some other event.
Child support is based on the needs of the children, but it also considers the income of each parent. Some are surprised to discover that both parents pay child support. One spends money directly on the kids by living with them, and the other supplements that expense.
A significant, semi-permanent change in either parent’s income alters everything. It changes the lifestyle of the parent and, by extension, the lifestyle of the children. When one parent is suddenly prosperous, the other can ask for a child support modification.
The Paying Parent Makes More Money
When the payor makes more, the receiver can request more.
Remember, child support is based on the child’s best interests. It’s reasonable to assume that spending more money on them will improve their lifestyle.
If you are in this situation – making more money while paying child support – don’t fret. Any money you spend on child support goes directly to your children. If the receiving parent spends child support on themselves, they can suffer legal consequences. You probably want to spend more on the kids now that you have the means anyway.
The Receiving Parent Makes More Money
If the receiving parent has more income, the paying parent can request a reduction in their child support payments.
Child support, ideally, is based on each parent’s income. The paying parent is simply helping the receiving parent cover groceries, clothes, and any other childcare expenses. If the receiving parent makes more money, it only makes sense to assume that they have more to spend on child support. They don’t require as much of a supplement, so the paying parent may not have as much of an obligation to help.
Getting Help from a Good Attorney
A rise or a reduction in child support isn’t necessarily a problem for either parent. Ultimately, child support is based on percentages that factor in the child’s needs and the parents’ abilities to meet those needs.
A good lawyer can help you even out these percentages. Child support should not be a burden on either parent. The payor should not be scraping by to make these payments, and the receiver should not be getting tiny amounts that ultimately don’t help.
Ford & Friedman can help with financial issues in your divorce. You can set up a consultation with us by filling out our online contact form or calling us at (702) 904-9898