Child Support Attorney in Denham Springs, Louisiana
Child support is an essential issue that should be resolved before a divorce or legal separation can be finalized. According to the Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017, more than half of all custodial parents in the United States have either a legal or informal agreement for child support. In Louisiana, both parents are required to support their child's financial, medical, and emotional needs. Establishing quality child support agreements is critical to maintaining a child's living standard and making sure that they are adequately cared for.
If you're trying to establish a child support agreement or change an existing child support order, reach out to a knowledgeable Louisiana divorce attorney. At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we are committed to providing experienced and comprehensive guidance to clients in complex family law matters, including establishing and modifying child support. As your dedicated counsel, we can review your unique situation, educate you on your available options, and fight compassionately to protect your legal rights and your family's future. We are proud to serve individuals and families throughout Denham Springs, Louisiana, and the surrounding areas of Livingston, Colyell, Holden, Springfield, Walker, Waston, and Albany.
Understanding Child Support in Louisiana
Under Louisiana laws, both parents, whether divorced or separated, will remain responsible for the expenses involved in raising their child. In most cases, the noncustodial parent will be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. The child support payment will cover everyday living expenses for the children. In some cases, expenses for health insurance, school tuition, sports, camp, and music or dance lessons for the child are included in the child support payment. However, it is more common for parents to pay these expenses in addition to the child support payment.
Factors Considered in Determining Amount
When determining child support amounts, the court may consider the following factors:
The number of children involved
Both parent's income
The existing custodial arrangement
In the event that a parent is underemployed, voluntarily unemployed, or fails to provide their financial history, a court may impute the parent’s income. Imputed income may be calculated using the following:
The parent's occupational qualifications
The parent's employment potential with respect to recent work history
The prevailing earnings levels in the society
Throughout income imputation, an income will be assigned to the parent based on what he or she should be making.
Modifying an Existing Arrangement
Child support arrangements are not set in stone. You can always seek modification if necessary. In Louisiana, a child support order may be modified if there has been a material change in circumstances that results in a 25% decrease or increase in the child support amount you are currently paying or receiving.
Some common reasons that may warrant the need to request a child support modification include:
Involuntary loss of job
A permanent disability
A substantial change in income
Getting a much higher paying job
Changes in parenting time or visitation schedule
An increase in the child's needs
An increase or decrease in the cost of medical care or health insurance
Having a new child
Termination of Child Support
In Louisiana, the obligation to pay child support automatically terminates when the child turns 18. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. You are still required to continue paying support to your 18-year-old child if:
They are a "full-time" student in a "secondary school", i.e. high school
They suffer from a "developmental disability"
They become mentally or physically disabled before age 18
Work With a Knowledgeable
Family Law Attorney
Establishing a child support agreement in Louisiana can involve a lot of complex procedures. If you are a parent trying to establish a child support arrangement or if you believe circumstances have changed since the existing support decree was made and you're seeking modifications, consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is important for proper guidance.
At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we have the experience and resources to assist clients in the legal matters of divorce and child support. Our attorneys will enlighten you on the details involved in the child support process, including how to calculate, establish, modify, review, or terminate a child support order. Our team will work meticulously with both parents to resolve child support issues peacefully and productively.
Child Support Attorney
Serving Denham Springs, Louisiana
If you need to establish or modify a child support arrangement, contact the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, today to schedule a simple consultation. Our attorneys can offer you the experienced legal counsel, support, and goal-oriented advocacy you need to make important decisions about your child support matters. We proudly serve clients throughout Denham Springs, Walker, Watson, Livingston, Holden, Springfield, and Albany, Louisiana.